Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu
Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
A federal High Court sitting in Enugu Friday struck out the suit challenging the emergence of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Enugu West senatorial zone in the April 2011 general elections.
The court also struck out similar suits which sought to invalidate the election of two members of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi and Hon. Tobi Okechukwu representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji-river and Udi/Ezeagu constituencies respectively.
Three aggrieved members of the party, including John Egesi, had approached the court through their counsel Nestor Ezeme praying for invalidation of the nomination process of the trio under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party for the National Assembly contest they won.
Egesi, who emerged as a factional PDP candidate for the Enugu West Senatorial zone prayed the court to validate the January 6, 2011 primary election as against that of January 11, which produced Senator Ekweremadu and the two other reps members from the zone.
However, Ekweremadu and the two lawmakers filled a preliminary objection through their counsel Ugochukwu Onyekwuruje arguing that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
They submitted that the issue of nomination of candidates was within the exclusive authority of the party.
Delivering her ruling, Hon. Justice V.I Agishi said it was clearly under the conditions stipulated in 87 (9) of the Electoral Act that an aggrieved person could seek redress in such instance.
"It is only if the complainant can find shelter under the conditions stipulated in the electoral act that he can seek redress", the court stated.