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Governor Umahi denies being disqualified from Ebonyi senatorial election, insists he is in the race

The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has denied being disqualified by the court from contesting the senatorial election in the 2023 general election.

Umahi who insisted that he is still very much in the race to contest the Ebonyi South Senatorial district election on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), said that the Federal High Court in Abakaliki only ordered that a fresh primary election be conducted in the senatorial zone.

This was made known by Governor Umahi while appearing as a guest on a Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, where he said that the counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also confirmed the ruling of the court.

What the Ebonyi State Governor is saying

Umahi during the interview said, “The fact remains that I have not seen the court judgement, but I have asked those who went to court, and I have spoken to the INEC lawyer that was in court. The INEC lawyer said two things: that the court order for a fresh election, and that I was never disqualified. This is very important.

“The judge cancelling the election of June 9 may not be the fault of the judge; the judge made use of the evidence before him. Our lawyer went to court because INEC did not publish my name, as submitted by the party – APC.

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The lawyer went to court on my behalf within the 14 days the publication of INEC came out to compel INEC to do that and along the line, even the PDP from my senatorial zone joined the suit. The person who came second in the first senatorial primary election also joined the suit, my sister Ann Agom-Eze.”

What you should know

  • NewsTimes had on July 22 reported that a Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki had disqualified Governor Dave Umahi from contesting the 2023 senatorial election in the 2023 general election under the platform of APC, and thereafter recognized Princess Ann Agom-Eze, as the senatorial candidate of APC, after the younger brother of the governor, Mr Austin Umahi, stepped down after winning the first primaries that were conducted by the party.
  • It was reported that Justice Fatun Riman, while delivering the judgement, cited section 115 of the Electoral Act 2022, noting that Governor Umahi was not an aspirant and cannot participate in the election or pre-election matters of the All Progressives Congress as regards the Ebonyi South zone, whose primary held on the 28th day of May 2022.
  • The governor was among several others who picked the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms of the APC sold at N100 million.
  • Following the victory of Bola Tinubu, in the primary, reports emerged that Governor Umahi had purchased the APC nomination and expression of interest forms for the Ebonyi South senatorial election.
  • Amid controversy that the Electoral Act does not allow for the purchase of such forms at the same time, he stressed that the presidential primary had concluded way before he joined the senatorial race.

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