The Court of Appeal, Abuja division on Wednesday, reinstated Engr Chris Azubogu as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA for the Anambra South Senatorial Election slated for the 25th of this month.
The court by the ruling, set aside the verdict of Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja, which had on November 24, 2022 nullified the nomination of Hon Azubogu as the APGA candidate for Anambra South Senatorial zone.
After the APGA primary elections which held in June last year, the first runner-up in the election, Hon Ben Nwankwo headed to court to challenge the qualification of Engr Azubogu to participate in the primary election which led to the nullification of the nomination of Azubogu by the Justice Ekwo of Abuja division of Federal High Court.
Justice Ekwo removed Azubogu on grounds of his membership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when in June this year he stood for the primary election under APGA for Anambra South Senatorial District.
He held that the lawmaker violated Section 65 and 68 of the 1999 Constitution in the unlawful ways and manners he stood for the primary election under APGA platform and got nominated for the senatorial election, agreeing with the plaintiff that Azubogu ought to have resigned, defected or cross carpeted from PDP to APGA before he can lawfully qualify to stand for primary election on the platform of another party.
Not satisfied with the decision of the High Court, the APGA and Azubogu filed an appeal challenging the judgement.
Delivering Judgement, the appellate court ruled that challenging the right of a political party to grant anyone waiver to belong in their party is not justiciable, affirming that waiver granted to Azubogu by APGA was in order and cannot be challenged.
“The appellant scaled the hurdle of section 65 of the constitution and he is qualified to contest election,” the court held.
The court also held that matters on section 68 and some others are not good basis for a pre-election matter as contemplated by the respondent.
It said the finding of the lower court is alien to the relief sought by the originating summons and that the party’s decision is supreme.
The court also stated that the failure of the speaker to act will not be visited on the appellant (Azubogu), noting that he did his part by notifying him and granted Azubogu and APGA all their four reliefs.
The Court of Appeal therefore set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court, affirming the nomination of the Engr Chris Azubogu as the candidate and flag bearer of All Progressive Ground Alliance (APGA) for Anambra South Senatorial zone.
Reacting to the judgement, Engr Azubogu, who is the current member representing Nnewi North/ Nnewi South/ Ekwusigo Federal Constituency stated: “The judgement will strengthen our constitutional democracy and I salute the Appeal Court panel for setting aside the High Court Judgement”.
While thanking God Almighty for the victory, Azubogu also thanked the Governor for providing leadership, the APGA leadership, members, and general public for their support, saying that it is victory for all.
Azubogu also appealed to his opponents to join him so that they will win the general election together and make the party and the people of Anambra South proud.