A former minister of state for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Uche Ogah, has been urged not to celebrate the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State awarded him by the court because the verdict will not stand.
The admonition came from the party’s leadership in the state, which asserted that both the purported primary which the court based its ruling and Ogah were unknown to the APC at both the state and national levels.
In a statement issued at the weekend in Umuahia, the state capita by the APC state chairman, Dr Kingsley Ononogbu; the secretary, Chidi Avajahand and publicity secretary, Deacon Obinna Atuonwu, the party distanced itself from the judgment delivered in his favour by an Abuja High Court.
Justice Binta Nyako had in the judgement she delivered on Friday, November 11, 2022 accorded validity to the primary election conducted by Ogah as against the one organised by the APC national leadership which produced High Chief Ikechi Emenike as the party’s governorship candidate.
The APC leaders expressed dismay that “one Uche Ogah and his dwindling number of associates have been living in fool’s paradise and feasting on the court judgement that awarded him a phoney victory.
“When Ogah and his followers wake up from their slumber, they will realise that they have been sold a dummy which will not stand further judicial scrutiny,” the party leaders said.
Ononogbu said the need for them to make clarifications “has become necessary due to misinformation and disinformation going on within sections of the media space thereby painting a wrong picture of the true situation.”
According to him, the judgment delivered by Justice Nyako is “a miscarriage of justice to the effect that a meddlesome interloper should be candidate of a party, mainly based on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) report.
“The judge forgot to consider that the same INEC monitored the primary election that produced Emenike as the governorship candidate of the party.
“More worrisome is that the trial judge’s failure to recognise the fact that Uche Ogah’s so-called primary was not conducted by the party – indeed, no primary election produced him,” the APC chairman said.
The party leaders clarified that “APC conducted only one gubernatorial primary election in Abia”, adding that “all the primary election committee members confirmed this through affidavits and counter affidavits with no dissension.”
The Abia APC leadership affirmed that “the party was solidly behind Emenike and “we are continuing our mobilisation efforts (and) remain committed to our 2023 mission. We will not allow Uche Ogah’s distractions to truncate APC’s determination to rescue and develop Abia State.”