I remain authentic Ebonyi LP gov candidate – Oko-Eze
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The former Chairman of the Labour Party, in Ebonyi State, Splendour Oko-Eze, said he remained the authentic governorship candidate of the party in the state.
This was as he said last week’s judgement of the Appeal Court, Enugu Division, did not in any way recognise a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Edward Nkwegu, as the standard bearer of the party in the state.
He stated this in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Friday, adding that the Independent National Electoral Commisson erred by publishing Nkwegu’s name in its list, as the LP candidate in the state.
He said, “The publication of Edward Okereke Nkwegu’s name as the Governorship candidate of Labour Party in Ebonyi State by INEC is completely unacceptable by me. I remain the authentic Governorship candidate of Labour Party in Ebonyi State.
“The Court of Appeal judgement did not order INEC to recognise Edward Nkwegu as the Labour Party candidate neither did it say that am no longer the Governorship candidate of Labour Party in Ebonyi State.
“The judgement said that my claim that the party was making serious efforts to substitute my name without my consent was a speculation. That there is no evidence that I have been substituted as the Governorship candidate of Labour Party in Ebonyi State. It didn’t say that am no longer the Governorship candidate.
“Let me use this opportunity to plead with my supporters all over the state to remain calm and resolute because efforts are on top gear to recover our stolen mandate.”
The Court of Appeal in Enugu had set aside the August 3 2022 decision of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki, on the leadership of the Labour Party in Ebonyi State.
The plaintiff, Oko-Eze, had challenged his removal as the Caretaker Committee Chairman and the appointment of Jioke Godwin as Chairman.
Oko-Eze asked the lower court to restrain LP and the INEC from effecting any change in the party’s candidature in Ebonyi for the governorship election.
All the prayers were granted.
But LP, through its counsel, Chijioke Emeka, argued that his client was denied fair hearing in the manner in which the court rushed through with the case and hastily entered judgment against all procedural safeguards.
Besides, he said the party had power to control its caretaker leadership without judicial interference.
Emeka said the issue about the governorship candidature was speculative and premature.