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BARR. IKENNA CYPRIAN UZOKWELU v. PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) & ORS

(2018) LPELR-43767(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 23rd day of February, 2018

CA/E/312/2017


Before Their Lordships

HELEN MORONKEJI OGUNWUMIJU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

TOM SHAIBU YAKUBU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

MISITURA OMODERE BOLAJI-YUSUFF Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

BARR. IKENNA CYPRIAN UZOKWELU - Appellant(s)

AND

1. PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP)
2. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC)
3. MR. CHARLES CHUKWUMA EZEANI
4. MR. ANTHONY EGWUATU OKAFOR - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Electoral Matters.

FACTS:
This appeal is against the judgment of I. N. Oweibo J. of the Federal High Court sitting in Awka.

According to the appellant, he participated in the primary election held by the National Working Committee of the 1st respondent (PDP) on 29/11/2014 to elect the party's candidate for Anaocha II Constituency for Anambra State House of Assembly. He scored the highest number of votes cast at the election and was returned as the winner but his name was wrongfully substituted with the name of the 3rd respondent who was still a member of APGA as at 3/12/14 while the 4th respondent participated in the primary election conducted by Oguebego faction of 1st respondent, emerged as the winner of that election and his name was published in the Sun Newspaper as the authentic candidate of the faction.

???Aggrieved by the alleged substitution of his name as the candidate of the party, he caused an amended originating summons to be issued against the respondents wherein he presented 6 questions for determination and sought the following reliefs:
"A. A declaration that the plaintiff, Barr. Ikenna Cyprian Uzokwelu is the only qualified, authentic, duly elected and/or validly nominated candidate of the 1st Defendant to contest the House of Assembly General Election, for Anaocha II Constituency of Anambra State scheduled to hold on 11/04/2015 and its re- run election on 18/04/2015.
B. A declaration that 3rd Defendant, Mr Charles Chukwuma Ezeani is not validly nominated as the candidate of 1st defendant for the 2015 Anambra State House of Assembly, Anaocha II Constituency of Anambra State scheduled to hold on 11/04/2015 and its re-run election on 18/04/2015.
C. A declaration that the 4th defendant, Mr. Anthony Egwuatu Okafor is the candidate of Ejike Oguebego faction of the 1st defendant headed by Chief Chris Uba hence not the authentic and/or legally recognized candidate of the National Working Committee faction of the 1st defendant.
D. A declaration that the plaintiff, Barr. Ikenna Cyprian Uzokwelu is the authentic candidate of the National Working Committee faction of the 1st defendant, hence the lawful and/or authentic candidate for the said 1st defendant in respect of the 2015 Anambra State House of Assembly General Election Anaocha II Constituency of Anambra State scheduled to hold on 11/04/2015 and its re-run election on 18/04/2015.
E. An order of the Honourable Court mandating the 1st defendant to submit and/or forward the name of the plaintiff, Barr. Ikenna Cyprian Uzokwelu as its candidate for 2015 Anambra State House of Assembly Election for Anaocha 11 Constituency to the 2nd defendant forthwith.
G. Injunction restraining the 3rd and 4th defendants, their agents, followers and/or assigns from parading themselves forthwith as the candidates of the 1st defendant for Anambra State House of Assembly 2015, Anaocha 11 Constituency."

The trial Court evaluated the affidavit and documentary evidence of all the parties and came to the conclusion that the appellant was unable to prove his claim. The suit was dismissed. Dissatisfied with the judgment, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The following single issue was resolved in the appeal:
"Whether the judgment of the Court below is against the weight of the evidence before the Court."
DECISION/HELD:
In conclusion, the appeal was dismissed for lack of merit.


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