Supreme Court declares Ugochinyere PDP candidate for Ideato House of Rep seat

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The Supreme Court on Thursday in Abuja declared Mr Ikenga Ugochinyere as the candidate of the PDP for Ideato North and South Constituency of Imo in the House of Representatives.

The Supreme Court, in a judgment delivered by a panel of five justices and read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun held that there must be an end to litigation.

The apex court held that there were no grounds put before it to nullify the candidacy of Ugochinyere, having fulfilled all the provisions of the law and complied with stipulated guidelines.

The panel judgment was on an appeal marked SC/CV/1439/2022, filed by Mr George Igbo (appellant) challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division.

Listed as respondents in the appeal are the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs Chidimma Uzomba and Mr Anthony Obinna.

In dismissing the suit, the apex court agreed with the argument of Ogochinyere at the appellate court that the appeal had been abandoned by the appellant because certain steps they ought to have taken by him were not taken.

In the preliminary objections, Ugochinyere explained that the appellant failed or refused to comply with rules and procedure in prosecuting an appeal and indeed abandoned same.

“The appellant filed his notice of appeal at the lower court on Sept. 9 within the 14 days period from the date of Judgment of the trial court as provided by the Electoral Act 2022 and Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution.

“Section 9 of the Election Judicial Proceedings Practice direction, 2022 mandatorily provides that the records of appeal shall be compiled and served on all the parties not more than (10) days of the receipt of the notice of appeal.

The apex court held that the lower court was right in holding that the appellant’s appeal was deemed abandoned.

It further held that it lacked the jurisdiction to determine the appeal or in the least invoke its general powers under Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, to determine the real issues in controversy.

In an interview with newsmen, counsel to Ugochinyere, Mr Emeka Ozoani, SAN said that the judgment was victory for democracy.

“This will finally put to rest the flurry of litigations from those trying to take away the peoples mandate from Ugochinyere, he said.

He added that the judgment would allow his client continue his campaign without having to worry about litigations.(NAN)

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