Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi on Friday suffered a major political setback as a Federal High Court sitting in Awka, capital of Anambra State, nullified the election of Victor Umeh as the LP senatorial candidate for the Anambra central zone.
Umeh and Peter Obi are from the same Anaocha local government area, and from the same Anambra Central senatorial zone
Delivering judgement in a suit filed on behalf of incumbent People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senator Uche Ekwunife, by B.E.I. Nwofor, SAN, the court held that by standing for two elections in the same electoral constituency, Umeh violated the Electoral Act.
Unless the judgement is set aside by a superior court, Obi’s LP will not have any candidate for Anambra Central senatorial zone in the February 25 general elections.
Last May, Umeh, who a former national chairman of the All Progressives’ Grand Alliance (APGA), sought the party’s senatorial ticket for Anambra Central, but but was defeated by the lawmaker representing Anaocha/Dunukofia/Njikoka federal constituency, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo.
Few days after Umeh’s defeat in APGA, he moved to the LP and was subsequently declared the party’s senatorial candidate.
Dissatisfied with Umeh’s action, Senator Ekwunife approached the court to determine whether Umeh, who contested APGA senatorial primary election could still lay claim to being the LP senatorial candidate.
Interestingly, Umeh had in 2015 successfully challenged Ekwunife’s election as Senator representing Anambra Central on the ground that she did not formally quit the All Progressives Congress (APC). At the time, Ekwunife was chairman of the Senate committee on Petroluem (Downstream).
After the Court nullified Ekwunife’s election, it ordered fresh election, but barred Ekwunife’s PDP from participating in the fresh exercise. Umeh emerged victorious in the re-run election in which PDP was barred from contesting.