The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State has dismissed as ‘fake news,’ reports making the rounds that the Appeal Court in Abuja has recognised Obinna Ogba, senator representing Ebonyi Central district, as its governorship candidate for the 2023 election.
The party noted that Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, alias AnyiChucks, remains its candidate for the 2023 governorship election, and not Senator Ogba is being reported.
Mr. Nwoba Chika Nwoba, PDP publicity secretary for the state who made the clarification in a statement on Tuesday, noted that the Appeal Court only ordered that the Federal High Court in Abakaliki which declared Dr. Odii as gubernatorial candidate to retry the matter and add Senator Ogba as a defendant in the suit.
“Kindly disregard the news on social media purveyed by fake news makers that the Appeal Court declared Sen. Obinna Ogba gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Ebonyi ahead of the 2023 elections,” Nwoba said.
“Such declaration didn’t happen today. The Appeal Court only ordered that the Federal High Court in Abakaliki which declared Chief Ifeanyi Odii gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Ebonyi State should redo the matter and add Senator Obinna Ogba as a defendant in the suit.
“Appeal Court said that Sen. Obinna Ogba wasn’t treated fairly by the court by denying him participation in the suit. It ordered that the same Federal High Court in Abakaliki should involve Ogba and hear him out, and then pass a fresh judgment over the matter.
“As it stands now, the Federal High Court in Abakaliki is to revisit the suit, give Sen. Obinna Ogba a fair hearing and pass a new judgment. This order of the Appeal Court doesn’t in any way invalidate the outcome of the primary election that declared Odii winner. Consequently, the Federal High Court is in receipt of the order and the outcome will be communicated to the public within hours,” Nwoba concluded.
Also reacting to the report of Senator being recognized as authentic PDP candidate, Abia Onyike, director of media and publicity, AnyiChuks GrassRoots Organization, argued that those making the claim are suffering from “acute case of cerebral meningitis.”
Onyike who appealed to supporters of Dr. Odii and the people of the state in general to remain calm, explained that the Appeal Court only ordered a retrial at the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki.
“Today, the Court of Appeal held that a person who was not a party at the trial Court can appeal as of right, without the leave of Court. In that decision, they ordered the retrial of the case before a different Federal High Court Judge – without going into the merit of the case of course,” Onyike told our correspondent.
“So, all those saying that Obinna Ogba has been declared winner are suffering from acute case of cerebral meningitis.
“This outcome does not, in any way, favour Sen. Ogbinna Ogba. This is so, as it offers Dr. Chukwuma Ifeanyi Odii a rare opportunity to present a better case where the CTC of INEC report on the said primary election will be exhibited. The outcome of a retrial will be worse for Ogba.
“If this is the outcome that Ogba held a party for ahead of the delivery on Saturday, then he surely wasted his resources.
“Presently, with the order for retrial, everything will remain as they are. No order was made for any action or declaring anyone winner of the primary as doing so will mean overreaching the trail Court that will rehear the case.
“So, if Ogba have a case, the Court of Appeal merely afforded him an opportunity to go and make such a case before a different judge of the Federal High Court.
“Finally, it is instructive to state here that the reasoning of the Court of Appeal as to the Notice of Appeal filed without firstly obtaining the leave of Court, will be challenged at the Supreme Court. Processes are already being prepared for this.
“Ebonyians are to ignore an attempt by Ogba to foist himself on the PDP through a malicious extension of a Court of Appeal order to include things not contemplated.
“AnyiChuks is still the Candidate of PDP until same is definitively set aside by a superior Court or the retrial Court.”