By Izunna Okafor, Awka
There was an outburst of joy and jubilation in Awka, Anambra State on Thursday, as as Appeal Court upheld the candidacy Chief Victor Umeh as the senatorial bearer of the Labour Party (LP) in Anambra Central for the 2023 general election.
Although information is still sketchy about the court judgement, videos are currently trending online, showing Umeh’s supporters chanting victory songs at the court.
Recall that a High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State capital, on Friday, January 27, disqualified Chief Umeh from contesting the February 25 senatorial election.
The court, presided over by Justice H. A. Nganjiwa, declared that Umeh violated the provisions of the Electoral Act by standing for elections in same senatorial zone under two different political parties. It also ruled that Umeh’s name was still in the membership register of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) as at the time he emerged the Labour Party’s senatorial flag bearer for the zone on Sept 30, 2022.
The court further revealed that there was no evidence that the resignation letter purportedly submitted by Chief Umeh to APGA was actually received by the party leadership. It therefore nullified Umeh’s candidacy and faulted the publication of Umeh’s name as LP senatorial candidate for Anambra Central by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
To cap up its ruling, the court also issued an injunction restraining Umeh from parading himself as a senatorial candidate.
However, an Appeal Court sitting in Awka, on Thursday, upturned the High Court judgement and upheld Umeh’s candidacy, barely 48 to hours to the election.
More details later.