(FILE) Anambra State governor-elect, Charles Soludo, shows his Certificate of Return issued to him by INEC.
A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a swimsuit to invalidate the election of Professor Charles Soludo within the simply concluded Anambra State governorship ballot.
The swimsuit seeks to nullify the victory of the governor-elect and the deputy governor-elect, Onyeka Ibezim, on allegations that Soludo supplied false data to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Justice Taiwo Taiwo dismissed the swimsuit on Wednesday on grounds that it lacked benefit and that it was a waste of the court docket’s time. He urged the plaintiffs to not use the court docket as a instrument to stagnate democracy.
He additionally awarded N2 million to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Soludo, and Ibezim who have been the second, third, and fourth respondents within the swimsuit. INEC was the primary defendant.
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The plaintiffs, Adindu Valentine and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, by their lawyer Kelvin Okoko, claimed that Soludo supplied false data within the affidavit he submitted to the electoral umpire.
They additionally alleged that Soludo indicated within the affidavit that he was contesting the Aguata II Constituency seat when, the truth is, he was contesting the governorship seat.
Okoko informed the court docket that an affidavit by Ibezim, additionally submitted to INEC, contained false particulars contemplating that he acknowledged that he was vying for Awka II Constituency seat.
He argued that having indicated the incorrect seat on the shape, Soludo violated extant authorized provisions and must be disqualified.
But counsel for APGA and Soludo, Onyechi Ikpeazu, queried the jurisdiction of the court docket to entertain the matter which he maintained was statue barred.
He burdened that error in an affidavit couldn’t be a foundation to disqualify a candidate from an election.
Ikpeazu acknowledged that the false data claimed by the plaintiffs was not among the many grounds acknowledged within the 1999 Constitution for the disqualification of a candidate.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Taiwo dismissed the preliminary objection difficult the competence of the swimsuit and jurisdiction of the court docket to listen to it.
He, nonetheless, held that the plaintiffs failed to determine that that they had an inexpensive reason for motion and couldn’t persuade the court docket on how the alleged false data each Soludo and Ibezim provided to INEC misled them.
The decide held that because the allegation by the plaintiffs have been additionally prison in nature, it must be proved past cheap doubt.
He, thereafter, awarded a sum of N2 million price towards the plaintiffs in favour of the APGA, Soludo and Ibezim.