Ebonyi 2023: Ogba appeals judgment nullifying his Candidacy

Ruth Oginyi

Senator Obinna Ogba, chairman of the Senate committee on youth and sport and the Senator representing Ebonyi Central Senatorial zone, Saturday said he has appealed the Abakaliki federal high court judgment which nullified the primary election which produced him as the 2023 PDP governorship candidate in the state.

A federal high court sitting in Abakaliki Ebonyi state capital, southeast Nigeria had last Tuesday nullified the rescheduled Primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) held in the State on the 4th and 5th of June 2022.

The court, presided by Justice Fatun Riman, upheld the primary of 28th and 29th May 2020 which was canceled by the National Working Committee(NWC) of the party, and declared Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odi as the rightful candidate for the party.

“I am happy the matter is in the court so we will go there and sort it out.
But nobody will collect the mandate given to me.

But Ogba while addressing journalists in his campaign office in Abakaliki on Saturday declared that he remains the authentic governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

He maintained that the primary elections of the 4th and 5th of June,2022 that produced him and other candidates of the party remain valid pointing out that PDP did not hold any primary in Ebonyi on 28 and 29th June as claimed by his rival.

He dismissed claims made by the former Chairman of the party in the state, Silas Onu, that the primaries were not monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as required by law.

He said that the primary elections were well monitored by officials of the electoral umpire and It is not questionable.

He urged his supporters and people of Ebonyi State to disregard the claims, describing them as mere noise undeserving of attention and boasted that he will defeat his opponent in the court the way he defeated him in the primary election.

Ogba commended the delegates of the party and stakeholders for their confidence in him.

He thanked other contestants in the gubernatorial primary election for demonstrating what he described as true sportsmanship and promised to run an inclusive government if elected Governor in 2023.

To his supporters, Ogba advised his supporters not to relent but to remain law-abiding that Ebonyi is for PDP in the 2023 general election.

“I was supposed to have addressed you before now but I left for Abuja immediately after the elections. You are aware that my party, the PDP has issued me with a certificate of return as the authentic gubernatorial candidate of PDP in Ebonyi.

“However, a day after the submission of my results and certificate of return issued to me, we heard that someone went to court to challenge our primaries. 

“The truth is that the court does not belong to one person. We have appealed the judgment. And I want to tell my supporters not to panic because nobody can intimidate me or take away the mandate that the people of Ebonyi state gave to me.

“In a nutshell, I am grateful to PDP delegates for casting their votes for me. I also thank my opponents who have since extended congratulations and pledged to work with me to ensure victory in 2023” he said.

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