Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has finally made the final list of candidates for the 2023 senatorial election in Ebonyi State.
Others who made the list include a former Governor of the state, Senator Sam Egwu and a former member of the House of Representatives, Linus Okorie.
Gov. Umahi’s name was earlier omitted from the list of candidates released in June following the controversy which trailed his emergence as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Governor had contested for the presidential primary of the party but stepped down for Bola Tinubu while his younger brother, Austin Umahi, won the Ebonyi South senatorial primary of the party in May.
However, after the primaries, the younger Umahi stepped down for the Governor leading to a re-run primary which the Governor contested unopposed.
But the Independent National Electoral Commission refused to list his name as the candidate and instead chose to leave the position vacant.
This led to Umahi dragging INEC to court asking the federal high court to compel the electoral umpire to accept his name as candidate of the party.
But, the runner-up to the first primary, Ann Agom-Eze joined the suit and urged the court to rather recognize her as the candidate of the party.
Justice Fatun Riman in his ruling, however, ordered for another primary with Agom Eze and any other interested fresh candidates allowed to take part.
Mrs Agom-Eze, not satisfied with the ruling, appealed the judgment at the Appeal Court in Enugu and filed for a stay of execution.
But the APC in Ebonyi obtained an order of the Federal High Court to go ahead with the primary which Mr Umahi won even as the matter at the appeal court is still on.
For Senator Egwu, the first civilian Governor of the State, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held two primaries in the state
Due to leadership tussle in the party, the first primary, which was on the 28th of May, was canceled by the National Leadership of the party which ordered for a second one on the 4th of June.
Egwu, a two-term senator and current current Senator representing Ebonyi North senatorial district won the primaries but some aspirants reportedly took him to court.
Mr Linus Okorie, who was then still in the party, contested for Ebonyi South ticket of the party which ended in controversy as he was alleged to have won one of the primaries while the incumbent Senator, Michael Ama Nnachi reportedly won the second primary.
The duo turned to the federal high court to determine the authentic candidate of the party but Mr Okorie, later withdrew from the case and decamped to the Labour Party where he clinched the ticket in a rerun election last month.
This led to his name being listed today as the candidate of the Labour Party and Senator Ama Nnachi being listed as candidate of the PDP where they they will slug it out with Governor Umahi.
Other notable names listed for the election include a former PDP state Chairman, Onyekachi Nwebonyi who is contesting for Ebonyi North under the APC; and former Chairman of Ezza South Local Government Area, Kenneth Eze who is listed as APC candidate for Ebonyi Central.
A former House of Representatives member, Lazarus Ogbe was listed as candidate of PDP for Ebonyi Central so also was Senator Emma Onwe who is the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Ebonyi Central.