By Taiye Agbaje
Following his declaration as PDP candidate for Ebonyi 2023 governorship election by the Supreme Court, Ifeanyi Odii has called on all the party’s faithful in the state to unite together to win in the state.
Odii, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja shortly after the apex court’s judgment, described the ruling as a welcomed development to the state’s chapter of the party.
He said he would reach out to every PDP leader including all aggrieved members, on how to chart a new way forward.
“Today is a great day to us as PDP family. The victory goes to PDP as one family.
“I will be reaching out to every party leader, my fellow party faithful on how we will win the 2023 election,” he said.
Odii, who said that the issue of factional crisis in the party had finally been put to a rest, said it was time members went back to the drawing board on how to move the party forward.
He, therefore, called on all aggrieved members to sheathe their sword so that the party could successfully wrestle power from the ruling party.
He described judiciary as the last hope of the common man.
According to him, I have always hoped that it is the only place to reclaim my mandate.
Speaking on the 2023 poll, he said: “Ebonyi is a PDP state. The battle may look so fierce but PDP is the winning party.”
Tye News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the apex court had, earlier in a unanimous judgment, declared Odii as the validly elected candidate of the PDP for the 2023 Ebonyi governorship election.
Justice Lawal Garba, in a lead judgment of a five-member panel, held that Sen. Ogba, who currently represents Ebonyi Central Senatorial Zone, lacked legal right to have filed an appeal in the court below.
He said the Abuja Court of Appeal lacked the jurisdiction to have entertained the suit in the first instance since Ogba was not a party in the entire proceedings conducted by the trial court (a Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki).
The judge said that the entire proceedings conducted by the appellant court was found to be without jurisdiction, describing it as an exercise in futility.
NAN reports that Mr Odii and Sen. Ogba were engaged in a legal battle over who was validly elected as the party’s candidate for the 2023 poll in the party’s primaries that took place at different occasions in the state.
NAN reports that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had, recently, declared Ogba as the governorship candidate of the party in the state, while setting aside the judgment of the trial court sitting in Abakaliki that pronounced Odii as PDP candidate.
But Odii, unsatisfied with the court decision, filed an appeal marked: SC/CV/939/2022 at the apex court.
In the suit, Odii sued Ogba, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st to 3rd respondent. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza