By Jude Atupulazi
The senatorial candidate of Labour Party, for Anambra Central, Senator Victor Umeh, has assured his supporters that the court judgement disqualifying him from contesting was merely a failed judicial ambush aimed at stopping him at all costs by those afraid of him and will not stand.
Umeh who said he had since appealed the judgement, said he was not new to such machinations and was sure the appellate court would easily set the judgement aside, especially since the judge deliberately overruled himself after giving judgements in similar cases, describing those challenging the outcome of primaries in other parties as meddlesome interlopers.
‘They’ve no business taking me to court, no matter what they may have to say or conjure as the law is well settled that based on the Electoral Act and the constitution, non-members of a political party cannot challenge the outcome of the primary in that political party. The law is that only people who took part in the primary have the locus to challenge the outcome of the primary in court.
So even if you are a member of Labour Party, and you did not take part in the primary election of the party, you have no locus to challenge the outcome of the primary. So you must be a candidate in the primary, or an aspirant, who took part in the primary, before you can go to court. There is no other window left for anybody to challenge the outcome the party’s primary,’ he said.
Umeh who spoke with Fides last Monday in Aguluzigbo, said he expected all the hullabaloo regarding his disqualification to end very soon as there was no way that judgement would survive.
‘One is that the Supreme Court and various divisions of the Court of Appeal have taken firm stands in similar matters that nobody can challenge the outcome of a primary in another party. So, the whole thing is clear.
‘And as God may have it, last week, the Supreme Court delivered a very strong judgment on the matter; that members of another political party cannot dabble into the affairs of another political party on matters of nomination,’ he said, noting that based on the existing pronouncements by the apex court and Court of Appeal, including the Court of Appeal, Awka Division, that delivered the judgment, all the judge did was for him to deliberately open the door for him to jump in where he had no jurisdiction and went into a frolic of manufacturing reasons on why he slammed those orders against me,’ Umeh said.
‘My own case was a case where the judge deliberately overruled himself because in the similar case where the YPP candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Uba, challenged the primary of Mr. Chris Azubogu of APGA, the judge dismissed the suit for lacking Locus standi by the plaintiff.
Umeh maintained that the judge overruled himself by saying Uche Ekwunife and PDP had a right to challenge his nomination in Labour Party.
He described it as sort of tragedy and that the judge knew he was very wrong. He described the judgement as biased, as well as a hatchet job.
He said that being a law-abiding person, however, he had taken the proper steps to appeal the judgment and had fast tracked the process of the appeal so that it would be ripe for hearing.