An Abuja High Court has restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting the name of any other person other than Senator Hope Uzodimma as winner of the Imo State governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which held on October 1, 2018.
Justice O. A. Musa who gave the order on Tuesday, also restrained INEC (2nd Respondent) in the case from processing or publishing the “name of any other candidate except Senator Uzodimma from the APC as the governorship candidate for Imo State primary election for 2019” pending the determination of the substantive suit on the matter.
Uzodimma through his lawyer, Joe Agi (SAN) had approached the court seeking an order to restrain the All Progressives Congress (APC) from conducting fresh or re-conducting another governorship primary for Imo State APC and INEC from monitoring or purporting to monitor any fresh primaries or re-conduct primaries by the APC in Imo State.
Other reliefs sought by Senator Uzodimma include; an order directing the APC to forward his name (Uzodimma) to INEC as the governorship candidate for 2019 governorship election in Imo State.
An order restraining INEC from going ahead with the process or publish any other person’s name except the name Senator Uzodimma and an order for accelerated hearing in the matter.
In his affidavit in support of the motion exparte, Uzodimma averred that he was declared the winner of the Imo State APC governorship l primaries which were conducted on October1, 2018 but shortly after he was declared the winner, “the National Chairman of the APC issued a press statement on the October2, 2018 purporting to cancel the primaries and re-conducting a fresh one”.
He added that none of the contestants in the election protested the result as declared by the returning officer “but rather six out of the nine contestants (Aspirants) confirmed that the primaries held and were free and fair”.
The Plaintiff noted that the electoral guidelines do not give the national chairman of the APC or the National Working Committee (NWC) powers to interfere with the electoral process; and that “out of the nine contestants (Aspirants) six agreed that there was an election and
I (Uzodimma) won”.
He further averred that in the absence of an appeal, no organ of the party could cancel the result of primaries. He said failure of the Court to grant the order, “irreparable damage will be done to me”. The Court has fixed October 16, 2018 for definite hearing of the matter.
It would be recalled that five of the governorship aspirants declared support for Senator Uzodinma as winner of the Imo State governorship primaries conducted on October 1 by the Ahmed Gulak Election Committee.
The aspirants led by one of them and current Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, at a news conference in Abuja affirmed
that the primary election which was conducted in the 305 electoral wards of the 27 local government areas of the state was authentic and should be upheld by the party.