Jane Otu, South-South


DAILY COURIER – The Supreme Court on Thursday, sacked the majority leader of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Victor Chukwu, as the valid candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the Ezza North West state constituency in the March 18 election.


The apex court upheld the decision of the Federal High Court, Abakiliki, which held that Chukwu defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the APC, after the latter had closed the sale of nomination forms and concluded screening of aspirants.


While the High court had declared Barrister Leonard Nweke Igboke the valid candidate of APC for the election in the constituency, having contested the primary within the time frame required, Chukwu approach the Court of Appeal which eventually vacated the orders of the lower Court.


Dissatisfied, Igboke sued Chukwu, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), before the Supreme Court.


In his application marked SC/CV/199/2023, Igboke contended that he won the primary election, but 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 court of Appeal was right to hold that the Federal High court lacks jurisdiction to preside over the case.


Passing its judgement 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 ruling of the Court of Appeal, 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 favour of the appellant”, the apex court held.