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Home » Nigerian Cases » Supreme Court » Prince John Okechukwuemeka Vs. Lady Margery Okadigbo (2012) LLJR-SC

Prince John Okechukwuemeka Vs. Lady Margery Okadigbo (2012) LLJR-SC

Prince John Okechukwuemeka Vs. Lady Margery Okadigbo (2012)

LAWGLOBAL HUB Lead Judgment Report

Bode Rhodes-Vivour, JSC

The appellant, 1st and 4th respondents are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP, the 2nd respondent). They were all interested in the Senatorial seat for Anambra North in the General Elections conducted by the 3rd respondent in April, 2011. To qualify as the senatorial candidate of the indirect primaries for the nomination of a candidate for election into the Anambra North Senatorial District to be held in April 2011 or any other date and present to the 1st defendant some other person as its candidate other than the winner of the said primaries.

Whether the 1st defendant can accept from a political party and recognize as the candidate of the party and place on the ballot paper, a person who did not emerge as the winner of the primaries conducted by the party.

Whether the 1st defendant can accept from a political party and place on the ballot as a candidate for election into the Anambra North senatorial District to be held in April, 2011 or any other date, a nominee of a political party who is not chosen in accordance with the provisions of section 87 of the Electoral Act.

And if the answers to questions 1, 2, and 3 are in the negative the plaintiff/4th respondent claims the following reliefs:

Declaration that based on the dictates of section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 the 2nd defendant’s candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District election to be held in April respondent the candidates must contest primaries. The 1st and 4th respondents contested a primary held on the 8th day of January 2011, while the appellant participated, according to him in a primaries held on the 10th day of January 2011.

The 1st and 4th respondents claimed to have won the primaries conducted on 8/1/2011. The PDP forwarded the name of the 1st respondent to INEC as its candidate for the senatorial elections for Anambra North in the general elections held in April, 2011. I shall comment on the primaries held on 8/1/11 and 10/1/11 later on in this judgment. Dissatisfied with the stance of the PDP forwarding the name of the 1st respondent to INEC as its senatorial candidate, the 4th respondent filed an originating summons where the 3rd respondent, was 1st defendant the 2nd respondent was 2nd defendant, the appellant was 3rd defendant, the 1st respondent was 4th defendant and the 5th respondent was 5th defendant. The plaintiff /4th respondent raised three questions for determination. They are:

Whether on the proper interpretation of section 87 of the Electoral Art 9010 the 2010 the 2nd defendant has the right to remove the name of the person who won 2011 must be the person who secured majority of the votes cast in the indirect primaries conducted by the 2nd defendant for the Anambra North Senatorial District between 7th to 10th January, 2011.

Declaration that the only valid and authentic list of nominated candidates of the 2nd defendant for the general election is that which bears the name of the plaintiff as the 2nd defendant’s candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District.

An Order of injunction restraining the 2nd defendant, its agents, servants and privies from recognizing any result of the National Assembly primary election of the PDP conducted between 7th – 10th January, 2011 in Anambra State other than the result bearing the name of the Plaintiff as the duly elected person to contest for the Senate on the Anambra North Senatorial District to be held in April 2011 or any other date.

An Order of injunction restraining the 1st defendant from accepting, recognizing or acting upon, any list of candidates other than the list bearing the name of the plaintiff as the PDP candidate for Anambra North senatorial District or in any way publishing, displaying, screening, putting on the ballot paper or howsoever dealing with any person other than the plaintiff as the 2nd defendant’s candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District in the General Election scheduled to Take place in April, 2011 or any other date.

An order of mandatory injunction compelling the 1st defendant to recognize, screen and publish the name of the plaintiff as the authentic candidate of the 2nd defendant for the general election for senate, Anambra North Senatorial District scheduled for April, 2011 or any other date.

An order of Injunction restraining the 2nd defendant from holding out, parading or recognizing any person other than the plaintiff as the candidate of the 2nd defendant for the general election for senate, Anambra North Senatorial District scheduled for April 2011 or any other date.

Trial was on affidavits and documentary evidence. Abdul-Kafarati J of the Federal High Court, Abuja presided, and the 17th of March 2011 delivered judgment in favour of the plaintiff/4th respondent in these words:

“I have earlier held in judgment that the plaintiff won the primary election of 8/1/2011 based on his averments in paragraphs 5, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16 and 18 of his affidavit in support and exhibits A-C, C1, D-D164. Having said this I am of the opinion that the 1st and 2nd defendants were not justified in removing the name of the plaintiff and substituting it with that of the 3rd defendant. I hold that the 1st and 2nd defendants did not comply with the provisions of Section 87 of the electoral Act. Based on the foregoing I hold that question 1-3 in the originating summons are answered in negative. Consequently upon this all the declaratory and injunction reliefs as contained on the face of the originating summons are granted. The 1st defendant is ordered to publish the name of the plaintiff as the authentic candidate of the 2nd defendant for the general election for Senate Anambra North Senatorial District Scheduled for April, 2011 Election.”

According to the learned trial judge the plaintiff/4th respondent is the authentic candidate of the PDP based on the primaries of the PDP which was held on the 8th of January 2011.

Three appeals were filed against the judgment of the trial court. They are appeals Nos. CA/A/166/2011, CA/A/243/2011 and CA/A/281/2011. The three appeals were subsequently consolidated and heard on the 5th of October 2011.

Senator A. Uba Igbeke and INEC were respondents in the three appeals. Prince J. Okecbukwu Emeka is a respondent in the first and third appeals and appellant in the second appeal. The PDP is a respondent in the first and second appeals and the appellant in the third appeal. Lady Margary Okadigbo is the appellant in the first appeal but the respondent in the second and third appeals, while Chief B. Udeozor is a respondent in the second appeal.

The judgment of the trial court was upset on appeal, the Court of Appeal said:

“……..In Appeal 1 the appellant Lady Margery Okadigbo being the candidate that scored the highest votes in the primary election held by the PDP in Anambra Senatorial District on the 8th January, 2011, the only validly held PDP primary election in that Senatorial District in respect of the April 2011 general elections, was the candidate that won the said primary election and I hereby so hold.”

This appeal is against that judgment. In accordance with Order 6 Rules 1 and 2 of the Supreme Court Rules briefs were filed and exchanged. The appellants brief was filed on the 19th day of March 2012. The 1st respondents brief was filed on the 27th day of March, 2012. The 2nd respondent filed a brief but withdrew it. There is no brief for the 2nd respondent. The 3rd respondent filed a brief on the 2nd day of April 2012. The 4th respondent filed a brief on the 11th day of May 2012, while the 5th respondent filed a brief on the 13th day of April, 2012. The appellant filed a reply to the 1st respondents brief on the 3rd day of April 2012 and a reply to the 4th respondents brief on the 16th day of May, 2012.

See also  Benneit Karibo & Ors V. Amos Grend & Anor (1992) LLJR-SC

The appellant formulated three issues for determination. They are:

Whether the Court of Appeal and or the trial court had the jurisdiction to determine who is the Peoples Democratic Party Candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District in the April 2011 general election from two parallel primary elections held on 8th January 2011 and 10th January, 2011 respectively haring regards to the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

Whether the Court of Appeal properly invoked its powers under section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act, 2004 to condone abuse of its process and awarded a relief not claimed by the 1st respondent by declaring the 1st respondent the 2nd respondents candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District m April 2011 general election.

Whether the Court of Appeal was right in regarding the failure of the trial judge to determine appellants pending motion filed on 16th March, 2011 as fresh issue that requires leave of Court of Appeal and if it does not amount to denial of appellant’s right to fair hearing for the Court of Appeal to deliver judgment in the appellants appeal without determining the said motion.

The 1st respondent formulated three issues for determination:

Whether the two lower courts were not right having regard to the fact and circumstances, the provisions of the Electoral Act and Party Guidelines of the 2nd respondent in assuming jurisdiction to determine the matter brought before them.

Whether the Court of Appeal in the circumstances was not right by invoking the provisions of section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act 2004 to declare the 1st respondent as the Anambra North Senatorial District candidate of the 2nd respondent at the April 2011 general election.

Whether the Court of Appeal was not right having regard to its earlier findings that the action was properly commenced by Originating Summons and duly holding that the appellant’s motion has become a mute point.

The 2nd respondent withdrew his brief and it was struck out. The 3rd respondent did not formulate any issue in its brief. The 4th respondent formulated three issues for determination.

Whether having regards to the facts and circumstances of this suit, the provisions of the Electoral Act and the party guidelines of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Court of Appeal and the trial court were not right in assuming jurisdiction to entertain and determine the matter in dispute.

Whether tie Court of Appeal while invoking its powers under section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act 2004, was right in awarding a relief not claimed by the 1st respondent by declaring the 1st respondent as the 2nd respondents candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District at the April 2011 general election.

Whether having regard to the Court of Appeals findings that the action was properly commenced by Originating Summons, the appellant’s contention that the trial court did not entertain his motion seeking a determination on the same point, has not been rendered otiose and a mere academic exercise.

The 5th respondent also formulated three issues for determination.

Whether the Court of Appeal and or the trial court had jurisdiction to determine who is the Peoples Democratic Party Candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District in the April 2011 general election from two parallel primary elections held on 8th January, 2011 and 10th January 2011 respectively having regards to the provisions of the Electoral Act;2010 (as amended).

Whether the Court of Appeal properly invoked Its powers under section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act, 2004 to condone abuse of its process and awarded a relief not claimed by the 1st respondent by declaring the 1st respondent the 2nd respondents candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District in the April 2011 general election.

Whether the Court of Appeal was right in regarding the failure of the trial judge to determine appellants pending motion filed on 16th March, 2011 as fresh issue that requires leave of Court of Appeal and if it does not amount to denial of appellants right to fair hearing for the Court of Appeal to deliver judgment in the appellants appeal without determining the said motion.

I have examined the issues formulated by all sides in this appeal, and I am of the firm view that three issues shall resolve this appeal.

Issue 1 is on jurisdiction the appellant, 1st , 4th and 5th respondent make it their first issue.

Issue 2 is the burning and central issue for determination and its is who among the following:

(a) Prince John Okechukwu Emoka

(b) Lady Margery Okadigbo

(c) Senator Alphonsus Uba Ibeke

emerged as the winner of the PDP primaries conducted for the Senatorial seat for Anambra North in the general elections held in April 2011.

Issue 3. Issue 3 is common to all sides and it is on the handling of the motion filed on 16/3/2011 by the learned trial judge.

The three issues for determination of this appeal shall be:

Whether the Court of Appeal and or the trial court had jurisdiction to determine who is the Peoples Democratic Party Candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District in the April 2011 general election from two parallel primary elections held on 8th January , 2011 and 10th January 2011 respectively having regards to the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended)

Who among the following:

(a) Prince John Okechukwu EMEKA

(b) Lady Margery OKADIGBO

(c) Senator Alphonsus Uba IGBEKE

Emerged as the winner of the PDP primaries conducted for the senator seat for Anambra North in the general elections held in April 2011.

Whether the Court of Appeal was right in regarding the failure of the trial judge to determine appellants pending motion filed on 16th March, 2011 as fresh issue that requires leave of Court of Appeal and if it does not amount to denial of appellants right to fair hearing for the Court of Appeal to deliver judgment in the appellant’s appeal without determining the said motion.

At the hearing of the appeal on the 17th day of May 2012 learned counsel for the appellant, Chief Solo Akuma SAN adopted the appellants brief filed on the 19th of March 2012, a reply to 1st respondents brief filed on the 3rd of April 2012, and a reply to 4th respondents brief filed on the 16th of May 2012 and in amplification urged this court to overrule the Court of Appeal as that court acted in excess of its jurisdiction under section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act. He further urged this court to follow the decision in CPC Lado Consolidated appeals SC157/2011 and 334/2011 judgment delivered on 16/12/2011 and allow the appeal.

Learned counsel for the 1st respondent Mr .Y.O. Ali SAN adopted his brief on the 27th of March 2012.He observed that CPC v. Lado (supra) is not applicable, contending that there were two parallel primaries conducted by the party while in this case there was only one valid primary held on 8/1/11

He further observed that section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) creates jurisdiction for the Federal High Court , State High Court, and High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to hear the claims in this case. He urged this court to dismiss the appeal.

See also  Oguejiofor Ilodigiwe V. The State (2012) LLJR-SC

Learned counsel for the 2nd respondent, Mr. V. Y. Kwon said that he was leaving the appeal at the discretion of this court. He withdrew his briefs and they were struck out.

Learned counsel 3rd respondent, Mr. A. Raji observed that his client is an umpire. He is neutral, particularly as the Peoples Democratic Party is neutral.

Learned counsel for the 4th respondent, Dr. O. Olanipekuin adopted his brief filed on the 11th of May 2012,and urged us to dismiss the appeal and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, arguing that lie does not need to file a cross-appeal since he raised the issue of jurisdiction. Reliance was placed on PDP v Okorochon a & 10 ors. SC.17/2012 delivered on 2/5/12

Learned counsel for the 5th respondent, Mr. C.J. Chiwuba adopted his brief filed on the 13th of April, 2012 and observed that the Guidelines are clear as to the numbers of delegates to take part in the primaries. He urged this court to allow the appeal.

Issue 1 raises the issue of jurisdiction of the trial court and the Court of Appeal to hear this suit. The issue of jurisdiction is fundamental in any suit. It is the heart and soul of a suit. It is a courts authority or power to hear an issue and/or the suit. Once a court lacks jurisdiction to hear a suit and it goes ahead to hear the suit as if it had jurisdiction, no matter how well the suit was decided the whole proceedings and judgment would amount to a nullity. See

Bronik Motors Ltd & Ors. V. Wema Bank Ltd 19831 SCNLR p. 293

Okoya v. Santilli 1990 2 NWLR pt.131 p.172

Federation v. Sode 19901NWLR pt.128 p.500

Osafile v. Odi (1) 19901NWUR pt.137 p.130

Jurisdiction to hear a suit is a threshold matter. Once raised it must be heard first and decided quickly. It is so important that it can be raised at anytime in the trial court, on appeal, suo motu, provided parties are heard, and in this court for the first time. See

Usman Dan Fodio University v. Kraus Thompson Organisation

Ltd 200115 NWLR pt.736 p305

Oforiade v. Oyebi 1984 1 SCNLR p.390

Ezomo v. Oyahhire 1985 2 SC p.260

In Madukofu v. Nkemdilim 1962 vol.2 NSCC p.374

this court made some observations on jurisdiction and competence of a court to hear a case. They are good guides in determining jurisdiction. A court is competent when-

It is properly constituted as regards numbers and qualifications of the members of the bench, and no member is disqualified for one reason or another.

The subject matter of the case is within its jurisdiction, and there is no feature in the case which prevents the court from exercising its jurisdiction; and

The case conies before the court initiated by due process of law, and upon fulfillment of any condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction.

This issue on jurisdiction falls under (2) above. Learned counsel for the appellant, Chief S. Akuma SAN observed that the 2nd respondent conducted two primaries in respect of Anambra North Senatorial District on the 8th of January 2011 and the 10th of January 2011. He submitted that the two lower courts lacked jurisdiction to decide which of the two primaries is valid. He further submitted that where there is a dispute as to which of the two primaries of a political party produced the nominated candidate that dispute is not justiciable under the provisions of section 87(4) (c) (i),(ii) and (9) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended). Reliance was placed further on Onuoha v. Okafor 1983 14NSCC p.494, Senator Y.G. Lado & others v. Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) & ors. SC 157/2011 and SC.334/2011 unreported Supreme Court judgment deliveredon 15/12/2011.

He urged this court to resolve this issue in favour of the appellant.

Learned counsel for the 1st respondent submitted that any primary election held in contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act, the Constitution of the 2nd respondent and the Guidelines for the general election made pursuant thereto is not only null and void but is illegal and a non-event. He observed that the primaries conducted on the 10th or 12th of January, 2011 is a nullity because it was conducted by the Anambra State Chapter of the PDP while the primaries conducted on the 8th of January, 2011 is valid since it was conducted by the National Executive Committee of the PDP. Relying on section 87 (1) (4) (c) (i) and (ii) of the Electoral Act, Articles 12 and 17 of the PDP Constitution, part 5 of the PDP Electoral Guidelines, he submitted that the facts of this case are different from Senator Y.G. lados case, contending that the two lower courts had jurisdiction to hear this case. He urged this court to resolve this issue in favour of the 1st respondent and dismiss it.

Learned counsel for the 4th respondent Dr. O. Ofanipekun urged this court to uphold the finding of the Court of Appeal that the only validly held PDP primaries for the Anambra North Senatorial District was the primaries conducted on the 8th of January 2011 by the National body of the PDP. He submitted. that the event which has aggrieved the 4th respondent falls within the purview of the provisions of section 87 (4) (c) (ii) (10) of the Electoral Act thus making the matter justiciable and giving the 4th respondent the right of access to court to ventilate his grievance. He urged this court to hold that the decision in Senator Lado’s case does not apply. Arguing in the alternative he urged this court to depart from the decision in Senator Lado’s case for being a decision reached per incuriam.

Learned counsel for the 5th respondent, Mr. C J. Chinwuba adopted the arguments of learned counsel for the appellant.

To my mind what is to be resolved in this issue of jurisdiction is whether there were two parallel primaries or one valid primary.

On this issue the Court of Appeal said:

“From the arguments the evidence adduced at the trial the 2nd and 4th respondents in appeal 3 produced and relied on result s that were manufactured by the PDP Anambra State Chapter who do not satisfy the provisions of the Electoral Act, the PDP constitution and Electoral Guidelines of the PDP. For the avoidance of doubt, it is only the National Executive Committee of the PDP and not its State Chapter that has power under Article 17 of the PDP Constitute on and paragraph 17 of the Electoral Guidelines to screen candidates for National Assembly election.”

The Court of Appeal continued:

“In appeal 1 the appellant Lady Margery Okadigbo being the candidate that scored the highest votes m the primary election held by the PDP in Anambra Senatorial District on the 8th January, 2011, the only validly held primary election in that Senatorial District in respect of the April 2011 general elections was the candidate that won the said primary election……………..”

An examination of the following legislations becomes necessary now.

The Electoral Act 2010 (as amended)

The Constitution of the PDP

Electoral guidelines of the PDP

Section 87(1), (4) (c) (i) and (ii) (7) of the Electoral Act 2010 ( as amended) state that:

87(1) A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Act shall hold primaries for aspirants to all elective positions.

(a) In the case of nominations to the position of a Senatorial Candidate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly a Political Party shall, where they intend to sponsor candidates-

(i) Hold special congress in the Senatorial District, Federal Constituency and the State Assembly Constituency respectively, with delegates voting for each of the aspirants in designated centers on specific dates.

See also  Abibatu Folami & Ors Vs Flora Cole & Ors (1990) LLJR-SC

(ii) The aspirant with the highest number of votes at the end of voting shall be declared the winner of the primaries of the party and the aspirant s name shall be forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the candidate of the party.

(7) A political party that adopt the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidate shall clearly outline in its constitution and rules the procedure for the democratic election of delegates to vote at the convection, congress or meeting.

Now, the PDP by virtue of Articles 12 and 17 of its Constitution and in furtherance of subsection 7 of section 87 of the Electoral Act the PDP issued electoral guidelines for the conduct of primary elections. Relevant extracts of the Constitution reads:

“Functions of the National Executive Committee”.

Article 12.71 The National Executive Committee shall-

(j) Make party electoral regulations to govern the conduct of elections to all Party Offices at every level and regulate procedure for selecting the Party candidates for elective offices.

Article 12.73. The decisions of the National Executive Committee shall he binding on all organs and members of the party.

Article 17.2. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 12 of this Constitution, the National Executive Committee shall regulate the procedure for selecting offices in the following manner-

(e) In the conduct of primaries for the party’s candidate for the post of senator, the primaries shall be held at senatorial Constituency Headquarters.

The PDP issued guidelines. Clauses 27 (vi), 31 (a) (c) and (e) runs as follows:

Clause 27 (vi) There shall be for each state of the Federation and FCT a National Assembly Electoral Panel of live members (one Chairman and four others) appointed by the National Executive Committee on the recommendation of the National Working Committee of the Party.

Clause 31 (a) All results polled at the National Assembly primary election shall immediately be announced publicly and thereafter recorded on the official result sheet from code PD004/NA.

(d) The result sheet form-code PD004/NA shall he signed by the Returning Officer and the aspirants or their accredited agents present provided that the failure or neglect or refusal to sign the form by the aspirant or his agent shall not invalidate the result.

(e) No aspirant for the primary election to the senate or the House of Representatives shall be declared nominated or elected, unless he has polled the highest votes cast and the winner shall be declared returned by the Chief Returning Officer immediately after the election.

A diligent reading of the above reveals that it is the National Executive Committee of the PDP that is responsible for the conduct of the partys National Assembly primaries. The Court of Appeal was correct. There can only be one valid primary and that is the primaries conducted by the National Executive Committee. A primary conducted by the State Chapter of the PDP is not a primary. It is an illegal contraption that carries with it no rights. It is a complete nullity. The primaries conducted on the 8th of January 2011 was conducted by the National Executive Committee of the PDP, and it was the only authentic primaries conducted by the PDP to choose its candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial Seat. On the other hand the purported primaries conducted on the 10th or 12th of January 2011 was conducted by the State Chapter of the PDP. It is null and void for the purposes of choosing the PDP’s candidate for the Senatorial elections. It is clear that at no time were two parallel primaries conducted.

Where there are two primaries conducted by the National Executive of the PDP, a situation at best imagined, it is only then that it can be said that there were two parallel primaries. The authentic primary could easily be resolved by documentary evidence available.

WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEAL AND THE TRIAL COURT HAD JURISDICTION TO DETERMINE WHO IS THF PDP CANDIDATE FOR THE ANAMBRA NORTH SENATORIAL SEAT.

Subsection (9) of section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) reads:

“(9) Notwithstanding die provisions of the Act or Rules of a Political Party, an aspirant who complains that any of the provisions of this act and the guidelines of a political party has not been complied with in the selection or nomination of a candidate of a political party for election, may apply to the Federal High Court or the High Court of a State or FCT for redress.”

A person who was not a candidate/aspirant at the primaries cannot come to the court to complain about the conduct of the primaries. See

Onupha v. Okaior 1983 Vol. 114NSCC p.494

Dalhatu v. Turaki 2003 15 NWLR pt.843 p.310

PDP v. T. Sulva & 2 ors. SC.28/2012 and SC.9/2012 Judgment delivered by this court on 20/4/2012

But where the political party conducts its primaries and a dissatisfied contestant at the said primaries complains about the conduct of the primaries the courts have jurisdiction by virtue of the provisions of section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act to examine if the primaries were conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act, the Constitution and Guidelines of the Party. The reason is simple. The courts will never allow a political party to act arbitrarily or as it likes. A political party must obey its own constitution. See

Hope Uzodinma v Senator O. Izunaso 2011 Vol5 (pt.1) M. J.S.C.p.27

It is well settled that the plaintiffs claim determines jurisdiction. See

Anya v. Iyayi 1993 7NWLR pt. 305 p.290

AG, Kwara State v. Warah 1995 7 NWLR pt. 405 p.121

Anigboro v. Sea Trucks Nig Ltd 1995 6 NWLR pt.399 p.43

Onuorah v. Okeke 2005 10 NWLR pt.932 p.47

A look at the questions asked and the claims in the originating process, the plaintiff/4th respondent, who participated in the primaries conducted on the 8th of January 2011 is not satisfied with the emergence of the 1st respondent as the Senatorial candidate of the PDP at that primaries. He claims to have won the primaries. He is a dissatisfied contestant, and by virtue of section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) the courts have jurisdiction to examine if the primaries were conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act, the Constitution and Guidelines of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Furthermore it is so clear under subsection (9) of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) that the Federal High Court or the High Court of a State or Federal Capital Territory has jurisdiction to hear complaints from aspirants/candidates who are/were dissatisfied with the conduct of primaries in which they contested. The two lower courts have/had jurisdiction to hear this case.

Having found that both courts below had jurisdiction to hear the claims I shall now address the other issues.

Who among the following

Prince John Okechukwu Emeka

Lady Margery Okadigbo

Senator Alpkousus Uba Ibeke

emerged as the winner of the PDP primaries conducted on 8/1/11 for the Senatorial Seat for Anambra North.

There was only one valid primaries by the PDP to choose its candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial Seat and that was die primaries conducted by the National Executive Committee of the PDP on the 8th of January 2011.


SC. 69/2012

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