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Supreme court to decide on Ebonyi PDP gubernatorial candidate today

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THE Supreme Court of Nigeria is set to deliver judgement on the legitimate gubernatorial candidate of the Ebonyi state People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the 2023 general elections.

A five-man panel headed by Supreme Court Justice Amina Augie announced that the judgment would be passed by 3.00 PM on Wednesday, September 23, after final submission from lawyers to the parties.

A legal dispute had ensued between members of the Ebonyi state PDP, Chukwuma Odii and Obinna Ogba, Senator representing Ebonyi Central, over the 2023 gubernatorial candidate.

The dispute had resulted following the conduct of two different primary elections by the party in the state.

In an initial exercise conducted in May, Odii had emerged as the party’s candidate, while Ogba won in fresh elections carried out by the PDP in June.

In July, a High Court sitting in Abakiliki, declared the rescheduled elections as invalid and ruled in favour of Odii.

The Presiding Judge Fatun Riman said the rescheduled primaries were invalid as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were not present to monitor the process.

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“The rescheduled primaries was not done in line with the law; we, therefore, recognise the primaries of May 28 and 29 that elected Odii as governorship candidate in Ebonyi, and that is our judgement,” Riman said.

However, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had declared Ogba as the legitimate candidate of the party in the same month, upturning the previous ruling.

Odii had further an filed an appeal at the Supreme Court.

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Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org or @ije_le on Twitter.

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