The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division yesterday declared Valentine Oziigbo as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State on November 6. The court in a unanimous decision set aside the decision of Justice A. O. Nwabunike of a High Court in Anambra State which had earlier declared Senator Ugochukwu Uba as PDP candidate.
In the unanimous decision delivered by President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the appellate court, held that the primary election held at the Professor Dora Akunyuli Women Center, Awka, which produced Ozigbo as PDP candidate, was conducted in line with the law and the PDP guidelines. While declaring as an aberration the parallel primary held at Saint Paul University, it berated Justice Nwabunike for sitting as an appellate court over the judgment of Justice Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
Justice Dongban-Mensem, while urging INEC not to allow itself to be distracted in preparation for the election, advised the commission to wait for the decision of the final court in the land and not hurriedly rush to comply with the judgment of trial court. The panel took turn to take swipes at lawyers who enabled litigants to abuse the court processes, stressing that relevant bodies like the National Judiciary Council, NJC, and Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, must take decisive actions against culprits. The court accordingly awarded a cost of N10 million against Uba in favour of Ozigbo.