The Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri has directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to recognize Chief Samuel Onuigbo as candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the 2023 Abia Central Senatorial district election.
In a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Rita Pemu in Owerri, the court affirmed that Chief Onuigbo was validly nominated in a primary election that took place on the 28 day of May, 2022.
The court set aside the judgement of a high court in Umuahia which had earlier confirmed Mr. Emeka Atuma as the authentic candidate of the party for the election.
Justice Pemu therefore directed INEC and the APC to issue certificate of return to Chief Onuigbo and publish his name as the validly nominated candidate.
Reacting to the judgement, Counsel to the Appellant, Mr. Mohammed Mohammed expressed satisfaction with the decision of the court and called on political parties to get acquainted with the amended electoral act to guide their operations.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chuzzy Atama who represented the first respondent, Mr. Atuma said they would study the judgement to determine the next line of action.
Chief Onuigbo who represents Ikwuano Umuahia at the House of Representatives was substituted with Mr. Atuma by the APC.
Reporting by Chinazo Ekechukwu; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Annabel Nwachukwu