The case brought by Abubakar Achimugu against the All Progressives Congress, its governorship candidate in Kogi State, Usman Ododo, Ozigi Deedat, and the Independent National Electoral Commission was dismissed by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to The PUNCH, the presiding Judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, stated that the case lacked merit.
Ododo won the party’s primary election held in the state on April 14th.
The plaintiff was dissatisfied with the poll results and brought a case to the court, claiming that the APC candidate did not properly resign from his job in the Kogi State Public Service at least 30 days before participating in the election.
Achimugu alleged that Ododo’s failure to resign within the legally prescribed timeframe constituted a violation of Section 182 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022, as well as Article 7 of the APC’s Constitution in the lawsuit.
The plaintiff formally requested the court to declare that the 2nd and 3rd defendants were not qualified or eligible, were not validly nominated, and that their purported nomination as the governorship candidate for the APC in the Kogi State governorship election scheduled for November 11, 2023, is unconstitutional.
This request was made specifically in relation to the primary election held on April 14, 2023, and the subsequent announcement of results on April 15.
The petitioner additionally requested that the court issue an order to invalidate and revoke the screening and involvement of the second and third defendants in the gubernatorial primary election held on April 14. This request is based on the argument that their participation was in violation of Section 182 of the Constitution, Section 84 of the Electoral Act of 2022, and Article 7 of the APC Constitution.
Justice Egwuatu’s ruling established that the court had received evidence supporting Ododo’s legitimate resignation from service prior to his involvement in the primary.
The court determined that the exhibits presented as evidence demonstrated that Ododo’s resignation letter was indeed received by the Office of the Kogi State Governor on March 8.
As per the court’s ruling, the defendant’s resignation was deemed effective upon the receipt of his letter of notice by the Kogi State Government.
Consequently, the suit was dismissed due to its lack of merit.