A Federal High Court in Owerri yesterday sacked another All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Representatives member-elect for Nkwerre/Nwangele/Njaba/Isu federal constituency of Imo State, Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo.
Two weeks ago, a federal high court nullified the re-election of the current House member for Okigwe South, Hon. Chike Okafor, and his certificate of returns issued to Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba of the Accord Party who came second at the election.
Justice P.A. Rigime, who delivered the judgment, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Kingsley Echendu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Neither the PDP nor its candidate was a party to the suit.
The court said that Harrison Nwadike, who is the plaintiff, was the “rightful winner” of the All Progressives Congress primary election in the federal constituency.
Nwadike had dragged, APC and INEC to court over the submission of Ozurigbo ’s name as the candidate of the party.
Nwadike, who prayed the court to declare him as the APC rightful candidate, contended that automatic tickets were unknown to the constitution.
The court in its judgment agreed with the petitioner that automatic tickets were unknown to law.
The judge, who said that the candidacy of Ozurigbo was illegitimate, ordered INEC to issue Echendu, who came second in the general election, with a certificate of return as the rightful winner of the election.
The petitioner, who spoke to our correspondent after the judgment was delivered, said that while he agreed with the court that he was the rightful winner of the APC primary election in the federal constituency, it was wrong for the court to have declared the PDP candidate the lawful winner of the election.
He said that he would go to court to challenge the aspect of the judgment, which ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to the PDP candidate.
But counsel to the PDP candidate, Stanley Imo, told our correspondent that the court was right to have declared his client the rightful winner of the election.
Ozuruigbo, who resigned as the Deputy Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly last Wednesday, was a member of the Rochas Okorocha faction of the state APC.