Nnamdi Felix/ Abuja
Nigerian Senator Ayogu Eze who has been crying foul over his failure to clinch the gubernatorial ticket of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ahead of the Enugu state Governorship has been floored at a federal high court where he’s challenging the emergence of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the governorship candidate of the party.
Eze had dragged the party, its National Chairman, Mr. Adamu Mu’azu, INEC and Ugwuanyi before the court over the delegates list with which the party’s primary was conducted.
Both Eze and Ugwuanyi had laid claim to the governorship ticket of the party, having emerged from two parallel primary elections that were held last December.
In his decision on Monday, Justice Evoh Stephen Chukwu, noted that from the averments made in the proceedings, that it was only one governorship primary election that was conducted in Enugu state on December 8 under the watchful eyes of the national officers of the PDP.
The judge held that Ayogu Eze failed to show how any section of the constitution or the Electoral Act as well as PDP guidelines for the conduct of gubernatorial primary election was breached or violated.
The judge restated an already cited authority wherein it was held that the power to conduct party primaries rests solely on the National Executive Committee of the party and not the state exco of the party.
Eze had told the court that PDP conducted ward congresses in Enugu State on November 1, 2014 as a result of which a list of delegates for the conduct of primary election for the governorship candidate of the party emerged consisting names of the elected delegates.
According to Eze, the list was sanctioned and authenticated by the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/816/2014, which judgement was delivered on November 24, 2014.
However, Justice Chukwu held that the sister court never sanctioned any delegate list.
“The plaintiff have variously tried to import the judgment of the sister court what the court did not say” said the trial judge and noted that Eze failed to show any evidence indicating that NEC of the PDP conducted the primary that he claimed was the authentic one.
Senator Eze had in his suit prayed the court to restrain the PDP, the National Working Committee, NWC, and INEC from submitting, forwarding or sending the names of any other person other than himself, as their duly elected governorship candidate for 2015 governorship election in Enugu State, pending the final determination of the substantive case.
He wants an order restraining INEC from recognizing, accepting or giving effect to the name of any other person other than himself as the governorship candidate of the the PDP for the forthcoming Enugu state governorship election.
However, the PDP refuted the allegation that it jettisoned a list of delegates that was originally approved by the High Court, saying it was never at any time mandated by any court judgment to stick to any particular list of delegates.
“The court only upheld the list of those that emerged from the November 1 delegates election, it did not make an order that the list must be used”, the party had argued.