The candidature of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, has again come under threat, as an Imo State High Court, sitting in Owerri, has declared his rival, Mr. Chuma Umeoji, as the rightful governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State.
However, it was a joyful moment in the camp of Umeoji, even as the court also affirmed Mr Jude Okeke, whose camp to which Umeoji belongs, as the party’s National Chairman.
In a suit filed by Chief Chike Dike, a loyalist of Victor Oye faction of APGA seeking to invalidate the national convention of the party held on 31st May, 2019 and the subsequent emergence of Okeke as the acting National Chairman, upon hearing the parties on the merit, the court categorically dismissed Dike’s suit.
The plaintiff in the matter, Dike, had sought orders nullifying the Owerri Convention of the party and all the actions of Okeke, including the conduct of the primary election for Anambra State and nomination of Umeoji as the candidate.
Upon the defence put up by Okeke, the court dismissed the claims and granted the prayers for consequential orders, affirming the validity of the Owerri convention of APGA, his subsequent appointment by the NEC as the Acting National Chairman and the primary election of APGA held on 1st July, 2021, as well as the nomination of Umeoji as APGA candidate for the election.
One of the orders of the order read as follows: “that the 1st Defendant (INEC) is hereby ordered to accord the 3rd Defendant the due recognition and forthwith CONTINUE to accept, recognise or publish the name of Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji, being the candidate nominated at the primary election conducted by the 3rd Defendant on 1st July, 2021, as the candidate of APGA for the Anambra State governorship election scheduled to hold on 6th November, 2021 or at any other date and to mandatorily include the said Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji, as the governorship candidate of APGA in all the electoral process for the Anambra State governorship election.”