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Imo Assembly poll: Court declares PDP candidate winner

BY CHIDI NKWOPARA

OWERRI—An Imo State High Court sitting in Orlu, has dismissed the suit by the defeated candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Mr. Walter  Uzornwanne, against Chief Eugene Dibiagwu of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Uzornwanne had prayed the court to, among other things, restrain Speaker and Imo State House of Assembly from swearing in Dibiagwu, who was declared winner by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of Oguta state constituency seat supplementary election.

The defence counsel, Prince Ken Njemanze, SAN, had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter, citing several authorities to back his argument, contending that the court had no business dabbling in the matter.

Trial judge, Justice Kemakolam Ojiako, in his ruling, held that “The claimant by this action is questioning the validity of the said election and has premised same on the pendency of suit No, FHC/PH/343/2012, which proceedings is not even exhibited to this affidavit as to engender a belief in its pendency.”

The court noted that in view of the fact of the election having been conducted and a winner announced,  the action was clearly and unequivocally a post election dispute.

He said: “Much as the claimant curiously did not join INEC, who conducted the election as a party in this action, this court will certainly not assume jurisdiction over acts and decisions of INEC. On the whole, it is my finding that the subject matter of this originating summons is outside the jurisdiction of this court.”

On the plea that the state House of Assembly should be restrained from swearing in Dibiagwu, the court said it would be “contrary to democratic norms as the entire citizens of Oguta state constituency will remain unrepresented in the House of Assembly, which is inequitable and unjust.”


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