The Appeal Court has Wednesday put to rest, the contention over who is the valid candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Ideato South State Constituency seat.
The Appellate Court in its determination of the appeal filed by Mrs. Nnenna Aladum ruled that Hon. Chris Ogbu, who was the winner of the PDP primary but was later swapped by the party leadership, is the authentic candidate of the Party for the election, thereby upholding the verdict of the lower court.
The Presiding Judge dismissed the application brought before it by Aladum inferring the same to be frivolous and baseless.
The Court declared in clear terms that the candidate of PDP for Ideato South House of Assembly seat is Hon. Chris Ogbu condemned the swapping of his name with somebody who pulled up the rear at the primary election.
The court sustained the ruling of the Federal High Court barring INEC and PDP from continuing to recognize or have any dealings with the said Aladum as a candidate while ordering INEC to immediately accord due recognition to Hon. Chris Ogbu by extending to the candidate all rights and privileges due to him.
The Court concurred that the primaries won by Hon. Ogbu was monitored by INEC and slammed the leadership of the PDP for unlawfully and without good cause, swapping Ogbu’s name with that of another person who lost at the primaries. It concluded that there was no rerun or fresh primaries, as any such allusion by the PDP was a figment of the imagination of the persons who did that.
The conclusion aligned with INEC’s position that there was no rerun, and neither did they monitor any other primary except the one that produced Chris Ogbu.
The Court further held that the primaries which produced Ogbu were held at the same date, time, and venue as all other primaries of the Party in Imo state, and anything which affected one would ordinarily affect the others.
INEC has since expressed its willingness to obey the judgment describing it as a victory for the rule of law and credible elections.