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Ex-Army General loses battle to sack Abia guber candidate

From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

An Ex-Army General, Ijioma N Ijiomam has lost the battle to sack Abia All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate, Prof Greg Ibe, as the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, dismissed a suit seeking to disqualify the emergence of Prof Ibe as the governorship candidate APGA, in Abia State.

Gen Ijioma had approached the court, seeking it to cancel the May 29, APGA governorship primary that produced Professor Ibe, alledging that it was manipulated in favour of Ibe.

He also claimed that the state Chairman of APGA, Augustine Ehiemere, used his position to confer an undue advantage to Ibe over other contestants.

Ijioma in his statement of claims, further alleged that the party allowed Ibe to storm the venue of the primary election with thugs; and that Ibe financially induced the delegates to vote for him.

He equally claimed that Ibe was still a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when he emerged as APGA governorship candidate and that he had allegedly participated in PDP’s governorship primary held on May 25.

Delivering judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Evelyn Anyadike, held that the plaintiff failed to prove how Professor Ibe was given undue advantage.

On the plaintiff’s claims that Ibe influenced the delegates by buying sienna SUVs for all the party local government chairmen, the court held that the action was not in any way different from the admittance by Ijioma, that he (Ijioma), provided coaster buses which conveyed over 200 delegates to the venue of the primary.

The court equally held that the plaintiff could not produce any admissible evidence to prove that Professor Ibe was still a member of the PDP when he emerged APGA flag bearer.

Justice Anyadike had also held that the plaintiff had in his oath of allegiance to APGA, pledged to remain loyal to the party during and after the party primary, hence his resort to contest the outcome of the primary was a breach of his earlier oath of allegiance to the party.

The court further held that the choice of the candidate of any political party was a domestic affair of the party and not justiceable.

It, therefore, dismissed the suit for lack of merit, saying that the plaintiff failed to prove his case against the defendants.

Before delivering the judgement, the presiding Judge had told the court that she got a phone call the preceding night, threatening him not to deliver the judgement.

She warned those behind the threat to retrace their steps, vowing that no amount of intimidation will stop her from discharging her duties.

“I’m under oath to dispense justice without fear or favour, and no man born of woman will stop me from doing my job.”

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