Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia Abia State will on Tuesday, Oct 4 determine the APC candidate for Abia Central in the upcoming 2023 election between the member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency, Hon Sam Onuigbo, and Hon Emeka Atuma.
Hon Sam Onuigbo had approached the court to pursue his case as the duly elected candidate of the party for senatorial district. Also joined in the suit are APC and INEC.
He had challenged the party for replacing his name with Emeka Atuma who contested for APC governorship primaries and not senatorial.
Counsel for Sam Onuigbo, Emeka Obegolu, SAN said the court took the preliminary objections of the first and third respondents challenging the jurisdiction of the court and thereafter took the original summons and adjourned for judgment on Tuesday next week.
Obegolu argued that INEC duly monitored the APC senatorial election held on 28th and 29th of May 2022, adding that the respondents have not disputed INEC’s report that the primary election was held on 28th of May this year through direct primaries.
He told the court that there is no proof that Emeka Atuma paid for his senatorial form.
Lawyer to APC, Professor Sam Erugo SAN in his submission said that Sam Onuigbo did not participate in the indirect primaries which produced Emeka Atuma in a later date, and opposed that the court will reject questions two and number two of the preliminary objections filed by Obegolu. Therefore, he asked the court the strike out the matter.
But counsels to INEC who is the second respondent, Barrister Mrs. Adanne Nwokocha presented the affidavit of facts dated 1st August, 2022 and filed on 14th September, 2022. Lawyer to Emeka Atuma, the third respondent, Isaac Anya claimed that the primary result Onuigbo said he won was not signed by either the primary election committee chairman or the secretary.
Responding, Justice Evelyn Anyadike, after listening to the counsels, reserved judgment on the jurisdiction of the case to Tuesday next week 5th October, 2022.