Court Rejects Atuma's Application To Be Enlisted On INEC Portal As Abia Central Senatorial Candidate


A Federal High court sitting in Katsina presided over by Justice E. M. Shittu Abubakar rejected the application to include the name of Chief Emeka Atuma, in the list of 16 litigants who have been granted interlocutory injunction to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission to open its portal to allow APC upload their names and particulars as candidates during the party Primaries.

Atuma is laying claim to the ticket of Abia Central Senatorial District on the platform of APC while the member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency, Rep. Sam Onuigbo insists he won the primary election of the APC to represent Abia Central, alleging that Atuma never contested the said primary.

APC and 16 of its candidates had in an interlocutory application approached the court claiming that they would suffer incalculable damage should INEC shut down its platform against them as it had already done following the expiration of the date for the submission of names of candidates as provided in the electoral Act.

Hon Sam Onuigbo had opposed the appearance of Chief Emeka Atuma on the list of Applicants in the suit in Katsina as he (Atuma) is a defendant in another suit pending before a federal a High court in Umuahia.

Hon Onuigbo’s application to be joined in the Katsina High court suit to be uploaded on INEC portal as a candidate was strongly opposed by the counsel to the Applicants.

Court therefore struck out Atuma’s name from the list of litigants with the order for the electoral body to accept 15 of the APC candidates.

It would be recalled that the attempt to replace the name of  Onuigbo, with that of Atuma, has also led  Atuma to obtaining an order at an Abia State High Court, Nkwoagu Isuochi, Umunneochi LGA as INEC insisted on not recognizing the order of the court on the grounds that it lacks jurisdiction on the matter.

Consequently Atuma, initiated the second legal tussle in a Katsina Federal High Court which was quashed by the court.

The APC primary election for Abia Central Senatorial zone which held on the 28th and 29th of May and was duly monitored by INEC officials had seen Onuigbo defeat his only contender chief Henry Ikoh, with 157 votes to 152 after Senator Nkechi Nwogu, withdrew from the contest in writing and while late Chief KC Ugbaja could not make it to the event.

The electoral body had since June 20, 2022 issued a certified true copy of the result to Onuigbo evidencing his victory.

 Ikoh, has long been sworn in by the President Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari,(RETD) as Minister of State for Science and Technology.

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