The Appeal Court, Awka Division in Anambra State yesterday affirmed former Transcorp boss, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Nov. 6 gubernatorial election.
Justices of the Appeal Court presided by Justice Dongban Mensa even ordered the first respondent, Dr. Ugochukwu Uba, to pay N10 million as damages to Ozigbo and the PDP.
On July 26, Ozigbo was elected candidate of the PDP at a primary approved by the National Working Committee of the party held in Awka while Dr. Ugochukwu Uba was nominated as the PDP candidate in a parallel primary held by a splinter group of PDP members loyal to his younger brother, Chief Chris Uba, also in Awka.
Dr.Ugochukwu Uba later instituted a suit before Justice O. A. Nwabunike at the Anambra State High Court sitting in Awka against the PDP, Ozigbo and INEC, challenging Ozigbo’s candidature for the election.
Justice Nwabunike had affirmed Dr. Uba as PDP’s authentic guber candidate.
But in its ruling yesterday, the Appeal Court affirmed the gubernatorial primary approved by the NWC of the PDP held on June 26 as lawful, and Ozigbo who emerged therefrom as the party’s lawful candidate. It consequently ordered INEC to immediately publish Valentine Ozigbo as the PDP candidate.
Mr. Alex Ejesieme (SAN), the lead counsel to Mr Valentine Ozigbo, had argued in the appeal that the judgement of the Awka High Court delivered by Justice Nwabunike was faulty because it was based on a judgement by a Federal Capital Territory High Court which the Court of Appeal had voided.