A Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia, has fixed Oct. 4, for judgement in a suit filed by Chief Samuel Onuigbo, the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) candidate for Abia Central Senatorial District.
Onuigbo sued the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Mr Emeka Atuma as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively over the alleged substitution of his name with another name.
Onuigbo is asking the court to restrain his party from substituting his name for the 2023 election.
He is praying the court to mandate the APC and INEC to immediately include his name as the candidate of the party after he emerged as the winner of primary election held between May 28 and May 29.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suit marked FHC/ABJ/UM/CS/113/2022, was filed on Onuigbo’s behalf by his counsel, Chief Emeka Obegolu (SAN)
When the case came up on Thursday, Justice Evelyn Anyadike reserved judgement on the pre-election case, for Oct. 4.
The court decided after listening to the heated arguments between counsel to the plaintiff and the defendants.
Counsel to the plaintiff in the originating summon, argued among others, that Atuma was only an aspirant in the Abia APC governorship election but not did not participate in the senatorial primary.
Obegolu contended that Onuigbo contested against Chief Henry Ikoh and won in an election that was conducted by the APC electoral committee and duly monitored by INEC.
NAN reports that Ikoh has since been appointed as the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Onuigbo is a representing Ikwuano/Umuahia South/Umuahia North Federal Constituency in Abia.
However, the counsel to APC, Prof. Sam Erugo,(SAN) filed counter-affidavits and adopted his written address.
He demonstrated that some of the documents relied upon by the plaintiff were documents that were unhealthy to his case.
He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the suit for lacking in merit.
The presiding judge having listened to the arguments, advised politicians to always seek redress in court for election matters rathers resorting to writing petitions.
“This is the first pre-election case for 2023 general elections to be held in this court,” she said.