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Published On: Wed, Oct 24th, 2018

Court adjourns Imo APC governorship primary tussle indefinitely

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By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Bwari, yesterday, adjourned indefinitely the suit challenging the conduct of the governorship primary election in Imo State.
The sine dine adjournment followed a petition by the state Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC), which accused the judge of bias.
In the suit, Hope Uzodinma, is laying claims to the governorship ticket of the APC and Uche Nwosu, is also laying claims to the same ticket.
At the continuation of hearing yesterday, Justice Othman Musa, informed and read out to the Court, a petition, dated October 22,2018, addressed to him, accusing him of bias and favoritism.
The petition signed by one Bisike Chinaka, Deputy Chairman of the party in the state accused Justice Musa, of specifically favouring Uzodinma in the court proceedings by granting orders in his favour.
APC, was not happy at the judge for granting an order directing the party to show cause why the name of Hope Uzodinma should not be forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as candidate of the party in the 2019 governorship election in Imo state.
The petition titled: Judicial Bias, Misconduct and Partiality by the Court, was copied to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello.
It read in part, “Following the cancellation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election for the party’s candidate for the 2019 Imo State Governorship Election, on 4th October, 2018, Senator Hope Uzodinma filed an action against the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“ The matter was assigned to his Lordship Othman Musa of Court 13, Bwari Judicial Division. On the 5th of October, 2018, his Lordship made an order that the parties should show cause why the said exparte application should not be granted.
“Therefore, Ugwunba Uche Nwosu also initiated an action in relation to the said primary election for APC candidate for the 2019 Imo Governorship Election and matter was assigned to his Lordship Valentine Ashi of Court 23, Apo Judicial Division.
“ His Lordship granted an Interim Order of Injunction on 9th October, 2018 against APC and INEC to the effect that they must respectively send and receive Ugwumba Uche Nwosu’s name as the party’s candidate for the election.
“Unfortunately since this order was made, we have noticed that the proceedings before you which we have keenly watched, appeared to be skewed in favour of Hope Uzodinma instead of both parties being treated equally.
“ For instance, the court is always referring to the order to show cause granted in favour of Hope Uzodinma while ignoring the others made in favour of Ugwumba Uche Nwosu as though the latter orders were made by an inferior court.
“We strongly accuse you of bias and unable to discharge the oath of your office as such recuse Yourself forthwith and remit the case file to the Chief Judge”.
Justice Musa, after reading the petition to the open court informed parties that he would not be able to proceed with the matter, adding that since the petition was copied the Chief Judge, he would await the reaction of the Chief Judge.
Subsequently, the judge adjourned the matter indefinitely.

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