By News Critic Reporter
The dispute over who is the rightful candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for Abia South Senatorial district in the 2019 General Election between Chief Marc Wabara and Chief Anyim Nyerere has been laid to rest following the ruling today by a Federal High Court Umuahia, which held that the claimant, Nyerere is the rightful candidate of APC.
Delivering judgement in the suit brought by Nyerere over the submission of Wabara’s name by the party as its candidate, whilst he (Nyerere) won the party primaries having scored the majority number of votes cast, the judge ruled that he disagreed with the arguments of the defendant that the suit which is a pre-election matter is like an academic exercise since the election has already been held.
After considering all the arguments, the judge went ahead to declare Nyerere as the rightful candidate of the APC in the election. Counsel to the claimant, Emeka Okoye while speaking with News Critic after the judgement was delivered said this matter is not an academic exercise.
He said it is good for our democracy that this wrong is corrected so that next time the party will not do the wrong thing by submitting the name of a candidate who did not win the primaries. The claimant’s counsel stressed that Wabara was not the candidate of APC in the election, saying that was why he did not perform well during the poll nor did he challenge the outcome of the election at the Tribunal like the APGA candidate did. He said that in the event the election of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe is nullified, that Nyerere will become the beneficiary on account of today’s ruling.
However, counsel to the 3rd defendant (Wabara), Rabiu A. Bawa said the journey wasn’t easy, describing it as a normal course of life. He said that in as much as they appreciate the effort of the judge, in their opinion he (Judge) misconceived the arguments of the defendant, that the matter was filed out of time. He explained that the matter was first filed at the FCT High Court on November 1 2018, and in January the FCT court struck out the case for lack of jurisdiction.
According to him from the time the claimant instituted the action in Umuahia till today, the 180 days provided for in the constitution has elapsed, ‘’still the court went ahead to give judgement in favour of the complainant. He said until they have the instruction of their client they will take further step.