Court Strikes Out Ex Health Minister, Chukwu Suit Against Gov Umahi

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The federal high court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, yesterday struck out the suit filed by the former minister of health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the legality of the congress that produced Governor Dave Umahi as the PDP candidate in the November 8, 2014 primary of the party.

In a two-hour judgment delivered by the Presiding Judge, Maureen Oyetenu, the court ruled that though Chukwu has the right to question the primary as an aspirant, he ought to have participated in the exercise as stipulated by law.

Justice Oyetenu differed with the counsel to Chief Umahi, Chief Offordile Okafor, who had argued that the court lacks the jurisdiction to question the congress conducted by the party and ruled that where due process was not followed in the congress the court has the right to hear such complaint.

She faulted the November 1st congress that produced the delegates for the November 8 governorship primary.

Okafor blamed Chukwu for questioning the primary when he did not show up on the day of the exercise that took place at the Abakaliki Township Stadium.

Counsel to the plaintiff Nnaemeka Ajiukwu who stood in for Chief Awa Kalu said he will pursue the action.

‘’The Judge has done her best at this stage but we will go higher, we will appeal the judgment because our client bought forms and passed through screening. He properly aspired for the governorship primary until he was muscled out of the race,” he said.

Chukwu, a former Minister of Health, had approached the court to declare the Ebonyi PDP governorship primary null and void on the ground that it did not comply with the electoral act.

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