The battle for the Governorship ticket of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the chairmanship of the party has swung back in favour of the Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji and Chief Jude Okeke.
This is following the landmark ruling of the High Court of Owerri today which struck out a fresh Court action bought by Victor Oye to stop Umeoji .
It reaffirmed its earlier judgment declaring the Owerri convention that produced Jude Okeke as APGA chairman valid and directing INEC to accept and continue to recognize and publish the name of Hon Umeoji who emerged as APGA Governorship candidate in Awka as the candidate of the party and to mandatorily include his name in all electoral processes for the Anambra Governorship election.
This ruling was sequel to an application for stay of execution and leave to appeal filed by Chief Oye wherein the court granted him leave to appeal but refused to grant the order for stay of execution but rather went ahead to reaffirm its earlier judgment.
The court expressly stated that INEC cannot evade its duty to comply with the Orders of the Court declaring Umeoji candidate and therefore has a legal obligation to continue to carry out, obey and comply with the extant, valid, and subsisting Judgment of this Court delivered on 28th July 2021 which declared Umeoji candidate and ordered INEC to continue to recognize him and Jude Okeke pending the determination of the appeal filed by Victor Oye at Appeal Court Owerri.
By today’s ruling, INEC is directly restrained from attempting to remove the name of Hon Umeoji as a candidate of APGA from its list as being rumored that it was under pressure to so do.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal Kano Division had on the 10th of August, 2021 set aside another judgment of the Jigawa High Court which also held that Chief Okeke is National Chairman of APGA and only governorship Congress held by him shall be valid without making any orders as to who should be a candidate of the party.
The implication of this is that the judgment of Justice B. C. Iheka of the Owerri High Court making direct orders against INEC, the Commission is bound to obey the judgment and continue to maintain the name of Hon. Umeoji is the candidate of APGA for the November 6 Governorship election.