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Court voids APC’s participation in Anambra poll

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An Abuja Federal High Court has voided the participation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the gubernatorial poll conducted in Anambra State last month.

In its ruling on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo said the party’s primary that produced Uba, the APC’s candidate, did not meet the requirements set by the nation’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The court ruled that the primary failed to comply with the party’s constitution and guidelines.

According to the court, the plaintiff, George Moghalu, proved that the APC failed to conduct a valid primary to which Uba laid a claim.

Justice Ekwo ordered INEC to remove Uba, a former senator, from its record as the APC candidate for the poll.

The judge also ordered the APC to refund the plaintiff the money he used to obtain interest and nomination forms for the election.

The APGA won the election with 112,229 votes, almost tripling the votes garnered by the APC. The APC had 43,285 votes, and the PDP, which came second in the election, got 53,807 votes.

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While the PDP and the Young Progressives Party (YPP) won one local government apiece out of the 21 local government areas in the state during the poll, the APC won none.

APGA has been in power in the state since 2007.

President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Soludo and APGA shortly after INEC declared Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank, winner.

But Uba rejected the election result and vowed to head for the court to protest alleged irregularities in the poll.

Monday’s court ruling further compounds the crises faced by Uba.

In June this year, about 20 staff of Heritage Bank protested in his house because of his alleged failure to pay the money he owed the bank. Officials of the bank reportedly said the debt was at least N10 billion.

The ruling may also further sink the APC into a deeper crisis, following a leadership crisis that has engulfed the ruling party in recent months.

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Monday’s judgement followed a similar ruling in Zamfara, where the Supreme Court sacked all elected candidates of the APC in Zamfara State, including the governor-elect in 2019.

The ruling brought the current governor of the state, Bello Matawalle, into office and most of the state’s House of Assembly members.

They belonged to the opposition PDP, though they have joined the governor to defect to the APC.

However, the Deputy Governor Muhammad Gusau refused to defect from the PDP.

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