Party withdraws suit against Uzodinma

A political party, the Reform and Advancement Party, and a governorship aspirant, Kingdom Okere, on Tuesday withdrew its suit filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the emergence of Hope Uzodinma as Governor of Imo State.

The plaintiffs had contended in their suit that the Supreme Court had declared Uzodinma’s candidacy on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in the last 2019 governorship election in the state.

They contended that by virtue of a December 20, 2019 judgment of the Supreme Court, Uche Uwosu, a son-in-law of the immediate-past governor, Rochas Okorocha, was the candidate of the APC in the election and not Uzodinma.

The referenced judgment of the apex court had declared that Nwosu was simultaneously sponsored by both the APC and the Action Alliance in violation of the law.

Despite the December 20, 2019 judgment, the apex court had on January 14, 2020, removed Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party and declared Uzodinma as the validly elected governor of the state on the platform of APC.

RAP and Okere, in their suit filed on June 25, 2020 and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/677/2020, sought, among others, a declaration that Uzodinma “did not lawfully participate and was not sponsored by the 4th defendant (APC) to contest the 2019 Imo State Governorship election in accordance with Section 177 (c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

But at the Tuesday’s proceedings, defence lawyers M.A. Aguma, Idris Yakubu and Hassan Umar (SAN), representing Uzodinma, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, respectively, urged the court not to only dismiss the suit but to also award cost against the plaintiffs.

While Aguma asked for N8m cost, Umar asked for N5m.

But the judge, Justice Okon Abang, in dismissing the suit awarded N500,000 against the plaintiffs and in favour of the two defendants.

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