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2023 NASS elections: Onuigbo moves to appeal against court ruling affirming illegal substitution of names for Abia central Senatorial seat by APC

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Sam Onuigbo, the presumed winner of the May 28 2022 senatorial primary election for the Abia central district seat for the 2023 forthcoming general elections in Abia State, has expressed deep shock over the verdict of umuahia high court in Abia on illegal substitution of his name and details in list of candidates who emerged successfully during the Senatorial primaries conducted by the leadership of the APC, and submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Recall that a federal high court sitting in Umuahia, Abia state, presided by Justice Evelyn Anyadike had on 5th October, 2022 dismissed the suit filed by Onuigbo, challenging the decision of the leadership of the APC to substitute him with Atuma as the senatorial candidate of the party for Abia central district, despite participating and wining the senatorial ticket at the primaries between 28th and 29th May, 2022 in Umuahia, the state capital.
In her judgment, Justice Anyadike held that Onuigbo(plaintiff) failed to tender any valid result to prove that he actually won the senatorial primary for Abia Central.

According to the judge, the plaintiff didn’t have any locus to challenge the national leadership of APC for not submitting his name to INEC since he did not tender any valid result of the rescheduled primary, which he said he won.

Onuigbo, who currently represents Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency in the National Assembly, had sued the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Emeka Atuma as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively over alleged substitution of his name with another name. The Chief Judge of Federal High Court Abuja, Justice John Tsoho, however, transferred the suit to Justice Evelyn Anyadike of Federal High Court, Umuahia division, in suit number: FHC/ABJ/UM/CS/113/2022.

But reacting, Sam Onuigbo who doubled as current member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency in the House of Representaives, Abuja, in a statement made available to AFRIPOST on Wednesday, dismissed the court judgement and posited that the federal high court erred by not exhaustively looked into my case and taken the right decision.

The federal lawmaker also insisted that a party chieftain, Mr Emeka Atuma who was affirmed by the court as the authentic candidate of the APC for th Senatorial district, never contested the primary election for which he’s parading himself as candidate, revealing that the May 28, 2022 senatorial primary election of All Progressives Congress for Abia central district seat monitored by INEC was between him and Chief Henry Ikoh who is currently a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“It is my belief that it is unjust for the name of a legitimately elected candidate to be substituted with the name of someone who never bought the nomination forms for the Senatorial seat, was never screened nor participated at any level of the senatorial primaries.

“Emeka Atumah contested for Abia APC Gubernatorial primaries with High Chief Ikechi Emenike on 26th of May, 2022, and came second. Allowing this travesty to go unchallenged will be tantamount to injustice, illegal actions and impunity salient support.

“No matter what, we must make our contributions to history as people who did our best to call out injustice and impunity wherever we saw it, and confront it using legal means.

On whether he will appeal the high court ruling on the illegal substitution of his name in the ballots ahead of the 2023 elections, Sam Onuigbo who is also the chairman of the house of representatives committee on Climate Change, submitted that he would head to the appeallate court to seek further redress as he had already consulted with his legal snd strategic team for the legal action.

The two-term member of the house of representatives Abuja, therefore called on his teeming supporters to remain calm as the mandate will be reclaimed at the appeal court.

His words: “While we seek for justice at the Appeal court, i enjoin my supporters to remain clam but resolute, and most importantly, peaceful and law abiding as we continue with our campaign.

“The wheel of justice may turn slowly but it is the common man’s only hope”.

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