The Supreme Court on Thursday declared that the majority leader of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Chukwu, is not the valid candidate of the All Progressive Congress for the Ezza North West state constituency election.
The apex court upheld the decision of the Federal High Court, Abakiliki, which discovered that Chukwu defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC after the latter had closed the sale of nomination forms and concluded screening of aspirants.
The high court had also held that Barrister Leonard Nweke Igboke was the valid candidate of APC for the election in the constituency, having contested the primaries within the time frame required.
But Chukwu took the matter to the Court of Appeal which eventually vacated the orders of the Federal High Court on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to interfere in the internal affairs of a political party.
Dissatisfied, Igboke sued Chukwu, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, before the Supreme Court.
In his application marked SC/CV/199/2023, Igboke contended that he won the primary election but the INEC in alleged connivance with some APC members, published the majority leader’s name on its portal.
He, thereby, urged the apex court to determine whether the lower court was right to hold that the Federal High court lacks jurisdiction to preside over the case
Passing its judgment on Thursday, the Supreme Court panel faulted the Court of Appeal for not considering all the issues raised by the parties before arriving at its decision.
It described the lower court’s decision as one borne out of “erroneous belief and conclusions”
“The decision by the court below is hereby set aside, in this case, the decision by the Federal High Court court delivered on 9/12/22 is accordingly restored in its entirety in favor of the appellant,” the panel said.