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Court Fixes Date To Hear Suit Seeking Soludo’s Disqualification

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Court Fixes Date In Suit Seeking Soludo’s Disqualification

A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed November 30 in a suit challenging the qualification of Anambra governor-elect, Charles Soludo, to contest the November 6 governorship election.

Naija News reports that the presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, gave the date on Tuesday after lawyers for the plaintiffs and defendants made their final submissions.

The plaintiffs, Adindu Valentine and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, are contending that Soludo provided false information in the affidavit (Form EC9) he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/711/2021, they claimed that Soludo indicated in the affidavit that he was contesting the Aguata 2 Constituency seat when, in fact, he was contesting the governorship seat.

Defendants in the suit are INEC, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Soludo and deputy governor-elect, Onyeka Ibezim.

In their final submission, the plaintiffs’ lawyers, A. O. Ijeri and Kelvin Okoko, argued that having indicated the wrong seat on the form, Soludo violated extant legal provisions and ought to be disqualified.

The lawyers added that their clients established that there was a cause of action and that the court had jurisdiction to determine the case.

The lawyers then prayed to the court to find merit in the case and grant the reliefs sought by their clients.

Counsel for APGA and Soludo, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), argued that the suit was without merit and that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it.

Ikpeazu contended that an error in an affidavit cannot be a basis to disqualify a candidate from the election.

He further argued that the false information claimed by the plaintiff was not among the grounds stated in the 1999 Constitution for the disqualification of a candidate.

Ikpeazu urged the court to uphold the preliminary objection filed by his clients and dismiss the case.

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.