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Court orders APC to refund Moghalu’s N22.5m nomination forms fee

By News Desk

The Federal High Court sitting in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has ordered the All Progressive Congress (APC) to refund N22.5 million paid by George Moghalu for expression of interest and nomination forms after the party failed to conduct a valid primary.

Aside from the order, the court, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo, also nullified Senator Andy Uba’s participation in the Governorship Election held in Anambra State on November 6, 2021.

Delivering his judgement on Monday, the judge held that Uba was never a candidate in the election having emerged from an illegally conducted primary election by the APC.

Ekwo added that the plaintiff, George Moghalu succeeded in proving that the APC did not conduct a valid primary election from which Uba claimed to have emerged as the party’s candidate.

The judge further ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delete Uba from its record as a candidate in the election and that the APC must refund to N22.5m to Moghalu.

At the direct primary which has now been annulled, Uba scored 230,000 votes but only managed to garner some 43,000 votes at the main election which was won by Prof. Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressive Grand Alliance.

Moghalu, an aspirant in the APC primary election had challenged the process and the outcome of the primary election that produced Uba as the party’s candidate. Moghalu, who was the plaintiff, had sued the party, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Uba as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

Justice Ekwo aligned with the plaintiff’s arguments that the June 26 primary election breached the provisions of the Electoral Act and the APC guidelines for the conduct of the exercise.

He held that the plaintiff had successfully demonstrated that the primary election was not conducted in accordance with the law and the party’s guidelines. “Therefore, the case of the plaintiff succeeds on its merit,” he said.

Ekwo held that since the election was conducted illegally, the APC (1st defendant) cannot be a beneficiary of the Nov. 6 election which produced the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Charles Soludo, as the winner of the poll outcome.

“The 2nd defendant (INEC) is compelled to delist the name of the 1st defendant and 3rd defendant from the Nov. 6, Anambra governorship election,” he ordered.

According to the judge, any election conducted contrary to the 1st defendant guideline is in nullity.

“The real issue was not whether accredited members of 1st defendant voted on that day but whether the election was conducted in accordance with the election guidelines of 1st defendant,” he held. He also said that the evidence of the police report confirmed that the election was conducted outside the time frame.

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