The Federal High Court, Abuja, has declared George Ogara as the bona fide governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu state.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, on Tuesday ordered that Ogara’s name be forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the duly nominated governorship candidate of the APC in Enugu state.
This, he said, was because Ogara scored the highest votes cast in the 270 wards of the 17 local government areas of the state.
Ogara had filed a suit against Sen. Ayogu Eze, the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, Prof. Moses Momoh and INEC before the court, challenging Eze’s emergence as the APC’s governorship candidate for the March 2, elections.
Justice Ekwo, therefore,directed the INEC to recognise Ogara as the candidate of the APC for the purpose of 2019 governorship election in the state.
He held that the direct primary election of the party that produced Ogara as the party’s governorship candidate was in compliance with the party’s guidelines as well as the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
The judge restrained INEC from accepting any other name than Ogara’s, for the purpose of the election in Enugu state.
“The plaintiff, having scored the highest number of votes cast by members of the APC in Enugu state for the governorship direct primary election at the 260 wards, is the nominated candidate of the APC,” the judge said.
Justice Ekwo held that Oshiomhole, Momoh and the APC’s refusal, neglect and/or failure to forward Ogara’s name to INEC as the candidate of APC contravened the law.
He also held that the refusal of INEC to publish Ogara’s name as the candidate of APC for the governorship election was contrary to provisions of Section 87 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and Article 20 of the APC Constitution.