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  • News - North Central - Kogi
  • Updated: January 29, 2021

Kogi: Court Nullifies APC Lawmaker’s Election

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday nullified the election of the member of Kogi Assembly representing Ibaji constituency on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC), Atule Egbunu.

Justice Inyang Ekwo who nullified Egbunu election victory ordered that the candidate of the party that came second in the December 5, 2020, by-election, which produced Egbunu, should be inaugurated in place of the sacked APC candidate. 

The Justice gave the order in a judgment on Friday in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/173/2020 filed by Joseph Enemona, in which he challenged the propriety of the primary election conducted by his party, the APC, to chose a candidate for the by-election.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared APC’s Egbunu winner with 8,515 votes, while PDP’s candidate for the election, Daniel Enefola came second with 4,564 votes in the December 5, 2020 election.

Justice Ekwo, in the judgment, however, upheld the plaintiff’s claim that the APC did not conduct a valid primary election.

He noted that while seven aspirants were to participate in the primary election, the party unlawfully manoeuvred the process, made the participation of a single aspirant possible and denied the other six the opportunity to participate.

He further stated that the APC acted unlawfully by conducting the purported primary election outside the party’s secretariat, as required by law. The judge held that the time for the conduct of primary and nomination of a candidate for the December 5, 2020 bye-election had lapsed. 

Justice Ekwo who faulted the respondents’ claim that the winner of the purported election, Matthew Oguche was substituted with Atule Egbunu, noting that Oguche was not one of the legitimate aspirants before the election.

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He argued among others, that the party unlawfully excluded six other aspirants from the primary election and also did not allow delegates to vote.

The judge proceeded to declare the primary held by the APC as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional and subsequently set it aside.

Justice Ekwo declined the plaintiff’s request for an order for the conduct of a fresh primary election, but ordered that the candidate of the party that came second in the election be inaugurated.

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Adedayo Babatunde
Adedayo Babatunde

Adedayo Babatunde is a seasoned journalist and an enthusiastic organic writer, who is passionate abo...

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