Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Seeking Removal of Enugu Governor

The Supreme Court, Abuja, on Friday put an end to the legal tussle over the Enugu governorship seat when it threw out the suit by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), chieftain and governorship aapirant in the 2015 election, Senator Anyogu Eze, to unseat the state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Eze had approached the apex court seeking the removal of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as Governor of Enugu State on grounds that he was not the proper candidate of his party, the PDP in the 2015 Enugu governorship election.
When the matter came up Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed it for lacking in merit and awarded a N1m cost in favour of Governor Ugwuanyi.
The court in a unanimous judgment, resolved all the issues against the appellant.
The five-man panel of the apex court subsequently upheld the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which earlier affirmed Ugwuanyi’s election victory.
Justice Kayode Ariwola, who presided over the appeal, berated the Senator for raising issues bordering on a subject matter the court had previously decided upon.
The court held that there was no point re-litigating on issue bordering on the primary election that produced Ugwuanyi. According to the court, by the provision of section 87 (4) and (9), the appellant who did not participate in the said primary election, lacked the locus-standi to query the outcome.
“There is no substance in this appeal and it is accordingly dismissed”.
Eze had in his appeal marked SC/248/2017, prayed the apex court to sack Ugwuanyi from office on the premise that he was not validly nominated by the PDP for the gubernatorial election.
He told the court that Ugwuanyi emerged from a kangaroo primary election he said was conducted on December 8, 2014, by some leaders of the party.
The appellant insisted that Ugwuanyi was merely handpicked by some persons at the National Headquarters of the party in Abuja, alleging that the purported primary election was organised with fake list of delegates.
He argued that the primary poll that produced Ugwuanyi was in breach of section 87(4)(b)(I) of the Electoral Act.
Eze who laid claim to the PDP governorship ticket in Enugu State having merged through a parallel primary election, prayed the court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal which validated the March 2, 2015, judgment of Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja which dismissed his suit.
He urged the court not only to okay the parallel primary election that produced him, but to also declare him as the authentic governorship candidate of the PDP in Enugu State.
However, Governor Ugwuanyi challenged the competence of the suit, even as he prayed the court to dismiss the pre-election case for want of merit.
The Governor argued that Eze lacked the locus-standi to query his ticket since he did not participate in the primary conducted by the National Working Committee of the PDP.

Author: News Editor

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