One of the aides to Gov Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Friday, said the ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, which struck out his principal’s suit praying to be recognized as the Ebonyi South senatorial district candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), would be challenged.
He also expressed hopes that the final verdict would go the way of the embattled governor.
He told our correspondent in Abakaliki that, “I’m not authorized to speak on the ruling yet. Our lawyers are already handling the next line of action.
“But I can assure you that the matter will be challenged. PDP people are behind this, but the court will come up with the final verdict. It will surely be favourable to Gov Umahi.”
Our correspondent reported that the court ruled that the APC acted in error to have conducted another primary election, and excluding the name of the aspirant that came second in the first primary. The second primary held June 9, with Gov Umahi emerging unopposed.
Gov Umahi’s brother, Austin, won the election held May 28, but withdraw to pave way for the governor who ran for the presidential ticket of the APC. The ticket was won by Sen Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Umahi, through his lawyer, Roy Umahi, had gone to court seeking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be forced to recognize him as the authentic candidate for Ebonyi South senatorial district.
Princess Agom-Eze, who came second in the first primary, also sought the ruling of the court not to recognize Gov Umahi as the APC candidate.
When INEC published the names of senatorial candidates in the state, that of Ebonyi South senatorial district was not included.
The presiding judge, Fatun Riman, ruled that INEC was right in rejecting the governor’s name as candidate of the party.
The judge held that APC cannot conduct an authentic second primary without including the name of Mrs Agom-Eze who was the runner-up in the first primary.
The court ordered the party to conduct another primary election within 14 days.
Governor Umahi, in a reaction, accused Mrs Agom-Eze of misleading the judge.
Umahi, in a statement by his special assistant on strategy, Chuks Oko, said, “The judge was misled by Ann Agom Eze who lied on oath that she never withdrew from the contest.
“With this false information and the misleading of the learned judge, the pronouncement of the court was that there should be a rerun election within fourteen days where all the parties should participate.
“Ann Agom Eze and her PDP collaborators are ignorant of the wordings of section 115 of the electoral law they are quoting as the governor was never a candidate in any two elections as they are oblivious of the difference between a candidate and an aspirant.”