A Federal High Court in Owerri, has declared candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner in an intra-party suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Harrison Nwadike of APC had approached the court to invalidate the candidacy of Ugonna Ozurigbo for Nwangele/Njaba/Isu/Nkwerre Federal Constituency of Imo state, on the basis that the primary election conducted was not the one approved by the law.
However, the judge ruled against the two candidates of APC and declared Kingsley Echendu of the PDP as the rightful winner.
He said that Ozurigbo was automatically selected contending, “automatic ticket is unknown to law.”
Joined in the suit are APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Tijanni Ringim, accepted the plea of Nwadike and ruled that the mode of selection of the party was not done with due process and with the proper backing of the law.
The judge ruled that the primary election be canceled and that the APC did not have any candidate in the election.
Justice Ringim also ruled that the runner-up in the election be declared as the winner and the commission should recognize him as the winner of the election.
The trial judge also ruled that APC should refund N3million to Nwadike as his nomination fees and that APC and Ozurigbo should pay Nwadike another N10million while INEC should pay N500,000 cost.
Speaking after the ruling, Nwadike avowed to challenge the ruling of the court declaring Echendu as the winner even though the candidacy of Ozurigbo was voided.
He maintained, “it was wrong for the court to have declared the PDP candidate the lawful winner of the general election.”