ABUJAâ€”The Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) is set to join the appeal filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Governor Ikedi Ihakim at the Supreme Court against the decision of the Court of Appeal in Abuja to assume jurisdiction in a suit filed by governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand alliance (APGA), Martin Agbaso.
Agbaso had sued INEC over cancellation of the April 14, 2007 governorship election in Imo State, reportedly won by Agbaso. The rescheduled election of April 28 threw up Ohakim on the platform of PPA. Agbasoâ€™s contention is that the first election was conclusive with valid results and that INEC has no statutory powers to cancel an election that had been concluded.
The Court of Appeal dismissed Ohakim and INECâ€™s preliminary objection against hearing of Agbasoâ€™s suit, saying it did not amount to an abuse of court process. The PPA National Secretary, Dahiru Mohammed on Tuesday said the party decided to join in the suit because its umbrella won the Imo governorship election in 2007,adding that since Ohakim had decided to defect to the PDP, he ceased to be the governor of the state.
â€œBy this defection, Ohakim can no longer lay claim for the governorship since he used our platform, PPA, to consummate his ambition. We therefore want the court to interpret what the Constitution says.â€ â€œThe Constitution is very clear on it. And the case between Ameachi and Omehia has further shown that it is the party that is voted and not individual.
Since Ohakim has left the party on which platform he won the election, he has to also drop the mandate, which was given to him through our partyâ€. â€œWe are seeking an order of the court to enable us present another candidate to replace Ohakim as the governor of Imo State.
â€œYou will recollect that the court has said Araraume is the authentic candidate of the party. He won the primary of April 14, 2007, so Ohakim cannot replace him through the back door. If he does, it would be an abuse of the legal process. So, our lawyers will be in court, both in Abuja and Federal High Court in Umuahia, this week,” he added.