The Action People’s Party has filed a suit against the candidate of Action Alliance (AA) Uche Nwosu in a federal high court Abuja for submitting two forms for the candidacy of two political parties; his present party and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Uche Nwosu was in the APC where he lost the ticket to Hope Uzodinma in a controversial primary in Imo State. He moved to the Action Alliance after presenting his name as the flagbearer of the APC in Imo State.
According to the papers filed before the court and sighted by our correspondent, in October 2018, Nwosu had submitted his All Progressives Congress (APC) nomination form to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the candidate for the party in the 2019 Imo State governorship election.
Uche Nwosu further submitted two valid court orders made by High Court of FCT, Abuja and Federal High Court, Owerri, recognising him as the authentic candidate for the APC in the Imo governorship election.
While he continued to hold on to his nomination as APC candidate as ordered by the court, Nwosu submitted another nomination form to the Independent National Electoral Commission to the effect that he had been nominated by the Action Alliance as its candidate for the 2019 Imo governorship election.
According to some senior lawyers who spoke with our correspondents, by the provision of Section 37 of Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended), multiple nominations such as the one done by Nwosu leads to automatic disqualification of the candidate. The lawyers opined that it is a serious infraction of the Electoral Act which attracts a penalty of disqualification of such candidate by INEC.
The lawyers stated that the case of Nwosu is similar to that of Uju, Kingsley Chima, that was disqualified by INEC as a candidate for Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta OruWest federal constituency for multiple nominations by both Action Alliance and Democratic Alternative.
The lawyers stated that even if INEC refuses to disqualify Nwosu before the election, in the event such candidate is declared winner, the court will still nullify the election as was done in the case of Governor Aliyu, Magatakarda Wamako, whose election was nullified by the Court of Appeal for having both the ANPP and PDP nomination in violation of the provisions of Electoral Act. They opined that as soon as this is proved and brought to the attention of INEC, Nwosu will stand automatically disqualified.
It is therefore very likely that Nwosu might not be eligible to stand for the election on March 9, 2019, and the battle will be between main contenders such as Senator Hope Uzodimma of the APC, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP and Senator Ifeanyi Ararume of the APGA.
Section 37 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that where a candidate knowingly allows himself to be nominated by more than one political party and or in more than one constituency, his nomination shall be void.
Uche Nwosu is the son-in-law to Rochas Okorocha (the outgoing governor) who has been suspended by the APC for supporting a candidate from another party other than the APC in Imo State.