An FCT High Court sitting in Nyanya on Friday declared null and void the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (PDP) Senatorial primary for Ebonyi Central held on October 2, 2018. Justice Peter Kekemeke ordered that a fresh primary should be held within seven days to accommodate one Collins Omebeh, who was denied participation in the October election by the defendants.
The other four defendants are Prince Uche Secondus, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chief Obinna Ogba and Chief Paulinus Nwagu. Omebeh, who filed the suit on November 6, 2018, claimed that he met all the requirements to contest in the primary election because he was issued a provisional clearance certificate by the party.
He said he was surprised when a publication in This Day Newspapers of September 29, 2018 carried the purported withdrawal of the Provisional Clearance Certificate duly and lawfully issued to him.
In his ruling, Kekemeke held that the facts contained in the affidavit and the statement of claim, were cogent and strong enough to sustain the case of Omebeh.
The judge held that Omebeh, who had fulfilled the necessary requirement, was entitled to participate in the primary election to produce a candidate for the forthcoming election in February 16. He said that the provisional clearance certificate duly and lawfully issued to Omebeh by the party was legal and lawful and therefore valid and subsisting.
Kekemeke also held that the act of omission, commission, failure or refusal by the defendants, their agents and officers, to ensure the claimant’s participation in the said election was illegal and unconstitutional. He ruled that the publication of Sept.29, 2018 without hearing from the claimant was a breach of the Omebeh’s constitutional right to Fair hearing.
“Consequently, the party’s senatorial primary election of Ebonyi Central Senatorial District purportedly held on Oct. 2, 2018 without the participation of the Omebeh is hereby declared null and void. The first, second and third defendants are hereby ordered to conduct a fresh, free and all-inclusive Ebonyi Central Senatorial Primary Election within seven days from the day of the judgment,” he said. (NAN)