Court dismisses suit seeking to remove gov Uzodinma and his deputy

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has dismissed a suit seeking to nullify the election of Senator Hope Uzodinma and his Deputy, Prof Placid Njoku and to declare the governorship seat of Imo State vacant.

Trial judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo on Monday, held that the applicant, Mcfyne Chikwedu, had no locus standi, adding that the suit was “patently non-justiciable.”

The judge stated that Uzodinma’s election had been affirmed by the Supreme Court and his court was not an election tribunal that could sit on appeal over elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The judge ordered Chikwedu to pay INEC N250,000 as costs “for bringing such a frivolous and meaningless suit to this court for adjudication.”

INEC and the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, were the first and second defendants.

The judgment followed Chikwedu’s suit alleging that the governor did not meet the constitutional requirement to be declared winner of the March 9, 2019, gubernatorial election of Imo State.

The judge observed that there was no connection between the plaintiff and the defendants jointly or severally.

Taiwo held: “If I may ask, was he (Chikwedu) a contestant in the Imo Governorship Election in 2019? He only described himself in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the affidavit in support of the originating summons thus: ‘(1) That I am the plaintiff in this suit and an indigene of Ikeduru LGA of Imo State. (2) That by virtue of my position, I am conversant with the facts of this case.’

“These averments are not enough to cloth the plaintiff with the toga of locus standi.

“It is a notorious fact that the issue of the Imo State governorship election has been litigated up to the Supreme Court; the Apex Court in the land on January 14, 2020 and it was held among other things that Senator Hope Uzodinma is the winner of the Governorship Election of Imo State and that the Certificate of Returns be issued to him.

“This court cannot shut its eyes to these facts. This case has no legs to stand on. It is dead on arrival and nothing can be done to resuscitate it. I need to state that cases of this nature ought not to be permitted to see the light of day if not for the constitutional provision as to fair hearing.‘‘

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