- …Dismisses RAP’s Suit
By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Federal High Court Abuja, yesterday, dismissed a suit filed by Reform and Advancement Party (RAP) and its candidate in the 2019 Imo state gubernatorial election, Okere Kingdom, seeking to sack Governor Hope Uzodinma from office.
Justice Okon Abang, dismissing the suit, awarded the sum of N500, 000 in favour of Uzodinma, the office of the governor and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The plaintiff, RAP and Okere are asking the court to restrain Uzodimma from acting as Imo state governor.
He contested that the governor is occupying the seat of Imo governor illegally, maintaining that he did not participate in the 2019 election as a candidate of any political party.
Specifically, the plaintiffs are in court to seek judicial interpretation on whether the All Progressives Congress (APC) indeed sponsored Uzodinma in the 2019 Imo governorship election.
However, when the matter was called up yesterday, RAP brought an application dated 24th September, 2020, for withdrawal of the suit, seeking the court to make a consequential order striking out the suit.
Responding, counsel for Gov. Uzodinma, M.A. Aguma, Idris Yakubu and Hassan Umar (SAN), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) respectively asked for cost of N8 million and N5 million for the expenses incurred in joining issues in the suit.
Consequently, the court in its ruling held, ‘’The justice of the case demands that they be given cost.
“Having filed counter affidavit and objections filed and served, and then the plaintiff decides to withdraw the suit that is weak and manifestly unsupportable.
“The Supreme Court has decided on the subject matter in this suit, the consequential order to be made is the order dismissing this suit. I so hold,” Justice Abang held.
Arguing his brief, Okere predicated his suit on the judgment of the Supreme Court which had affirmed Uche Nwosu as the duly nominated 2019 Imo governorship candidate of the APC.
In the originating summon, the plaintiff prayed the court to determine whether Uzodinma lawfully participated and was sponsored by the APC to contest the 2019 Imo governorship election in accordance with Section 177 (c) of the 1999 Constitution.
“This is having regard to the tenor, clear and unambiguous legal implications/consequences of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in appeal no: SC/1384/2019 which upheld the decision of both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court and affirmed Uche Nwosu as the authentic and duly elected/nominated 2019 Imo State governorship candidate of the APC,” he posited.