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Court To Decide Removal Of Hope Uzodinma As Imo State Governor Today



Court Delivers Final Judgment On Suit Seeking To Sack Hope Uzodinma As Imo Governor

A Federal High Court which is expected to sit in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital today, will deliver judgment on a suit asking the court to restrain Governor Hope Uzodinma from acting as Imo governor, four days after it adjourned till today.

Naija News had reported earlier that when the suit filed by the Reform and Advancement Party (RAP) and its 2019 governorship candidate, Okere Kingdom, was called on Wednesday, July 16, the 2019 Imo governorship candidate told the court that he filed an application praying the court to abridge the time within which the defendants would file their responses.

This online news platform understands that the defendants have 30 days under the rule of law, to respond but the plaintiff told the court that he made the application for the court to abridge the time due to the urgency of the matter.

The RAP governorship candidate, who is also a lawyer, held that the matter was of constitutional importance because Uzodinma was occupying the seat of Imo governor illegally, having not participated in the 2019 election as a candidate of any political party.

Naija News understands that all the defendants objected to the application on the grounds that they needed the time given by the constitution to respond, with Alhassan Umar (SAN), the counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), praying the court that in line with the principles of fair hearing, the defendants needed to take sufficient time as allocated by the law to respond.

The counsel to INEC argued that the plaintiff could not take the required time to file his processes only to ask the court to abridge the time for the respondents.

After listening to the prayers, Justice Okon Abang who presided over the matter, adjourned the case until July 20 (today) to hear the application and directed that hearing notices should be served on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since the party was not represented in court.

Kingdom and his RAP approached the court seeking judicial interpretation on whether the All Progressives Congress (APC) indeed sponsored Mr Uzodinma in the 2019 Imo governorship election.

The RAP candidate for the 2019 governorship election said the suit was predicated on the judgment of the Supreme Court which affirmed Uche Nwosu as the duly nominated 2019 Imo governorship candidate of the APC.

Barrister Kingdom had said that one of the issues he wanted the court to determine was whether Mr Uzodinma lawfully participated and was sponsored by the APC to contest the 2019 Imo governorship election in accordance with Section 177 (c) of the 1999 Constitution.

“This is having regard to the tenor, clear and unambiguous legal implications/consequences of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in appeal no: SC/1384/2019 which upheld the decision of both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court and affirmed Uche Nwosu as the authentic and duly elected/nominated 2019 Imo State governorship candidate of the APC.”

Meanwhile, Hope Uzodinma’s fate as Imo State governor will be decided today by Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja Division of the Federal High.