A Governorship Aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia, Chief Daniel Eke, has said that he will challenge the aspect of the Appeal Court judgment that validated the candidacy of Chief Ikechi Emenike.

Eke made the disclosure, while reacting to Wednesday’s judgment by the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division presided over by Justice Pemu Rita Nosakhare.

He had approached the appellate court in a suit No. CA/OW/419/2022 to quash the October 7 judgment of the Umuahia Federal High Court in suit No. FHC/UM/CS/96/2022.

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Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the lower court had ruled that Eke lacked the locus standi to challenge the outcomes of the May 26 parallel governorship primaries that produced two candidates.

While Emenike emerged from an indirect primary, the former Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Chief Uche Ogah, emerged from a direct primary election.

In a statement issued to newsmen in Umuahia on Thursday, Eke stated that he was not satisfied with the appellate court’s decision to authenticate Emenike’s candidacy.

He, therefore, vowed to approach the Supreme Court to upturn the ruling.

He, however, hailed the appellate court’s decision to overrule the lower court on the issue of locus standi.

“This is good for us because it shows that we now can approach the Supreme Court to invalidate Emenike’s candidacy,” he added.

The appellate court averred that Eke showed evidence to prove that he is a card-carrying member of APC, having registered in his Igbere Ward.

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It further affirmed that having paid N50 million Naira for the party’s nomination and expression of interest forms, he became a governorship aspirant, hence had the locus standi to prosecute the suit.

Eke’s Counsel, Chief Obinna Nkume, said that it was a wrong decision by the court to award a judgment to Emenike, who was the second respondent in the suit, whereas he did not ask for it.

Nkume said in an interview with newsmen that the specific pronouncement by Justice Nosakhare that Eke’s appeal succeeded in part gave impetus to his resolve to get Emenike’s candidacy nullified by the apex court.

He said that with the issue of locus standi resolved in his favour by the Appeal Court, the coast had become clearer for Eke to get the Supreme Court to adjudicate on his originating summons.

He had alleged in his suit that Emenike’s primary election was conducted in contravention of the Electoral Act and directive of the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC.

He said that the NWC had ordered for direct mode of primary election in Abia whereas Emenike emerged from an indirect primary election.

Nkume further said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) posited in court that it did not monitor the Emenike’s indirect primary as provided by the Electoral Act.

He said that it was worrisome that the appeal court discountenced such a fundamental infraction but went ahead to validate Emenike’s candidacy.

He also said that the appellate court judgment tactically eliminated Ogah, who was the third respondent and another claimant to the APC candidacy, from the suit.

Nkume said that the pursuit for justice by Eke has been made simpler by the Appeal Court judgment.

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