Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Ebonyi South Senatorial District in the 2023 general elections.
The governor defeated his immediate younger brother, Austin, and three others in a fresh primary held in the headquarters of Afikpo North LGA yesterday.
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The chairman of the electoral panel, Prof Adebayo Kehinde, said Umahi scored 250 votes, Austin 10, while Mrs Elizabeth Chukwu polled five to come third.
The election which was held amid tight security was monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In his acceptance speech, Umahi commended the electoral panel for the peaceful and transparent conduct of the primary.
He also commended delegates for the confidence reposed in him and assured that the APC would emerge victorious at the forthcoming general elections in 2023.
This was the third time the primary for the senatorial zone would hold following an order of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki which voided the second election and ordered a fresh one.
After Umahi lost the APC presidential ticket to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the party cancelled the senatorial primary for Ebonyi South which was won by Austin. Another primary was held on June 9, during which Austin withdrew and Umahi reportedly contested unopposed and won.
However, although the APC had listed Umahi as its senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South, he was excluded when INEC published the list of candidates for the 2023 elections.
The governor, through his counsel, Roy Nweze, filed a suit against INEC at the Federal High Court asking the court to compel the electoral body to recognise him as the senatorial candidate for the district.
In its ruling, the court threw out the governor’s suit and ordered INEC to conduct a fresh primary within 14 days for the senatorial district.
Meanwhile, Ann Agom-Eze who came second in the May 28, senatorial primary had appealed the ruling of the court.
In a statement yesterday, Agom-Eze said she boycotted the fresh primary because there was an appeal for stay of execution on the matter.
She said, “I’m looking forward to the judgment of the Court of Appeal as a law-abiding citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and I am confident that the court will do justice.”