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Court dismisses suit against Ohakim’s election

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA— A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja,  yesterday struck-out the suit by one Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo,  seeking to void the April 28, 2007 election held in Imo State, which produced Dr. Ikedi Ohiakim as Governor of the state.

The trial judge, Justice Mohammed Garba, cited lack of jurisdiction to hear the case as his reason for striking out the suit.

The legal victory however, came on a day the Court of Appeal, Abuja fixed November 12, this year for full hearing in another two separate appeals (now consolidated), challenging the validity of the April 28, 2007 election.

The two cases were maintained against Ohiakim’s election by the gubernatorial candidates of both the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that of the All Progressive Grand Alliance( APGA), Ifeanyi Ararume and Chief Agbaso, respectively.

Agbaso is asking the court to set aside the April 28, 2007 election, which produced Governor Ohiakim, on the ground that the April 21, 2007 election, which he contested and allegedly won was illegally cancelled by INEC.

He had contended that since the April 21, 2007 gubernatorial election held contemporaneously with the State House of Assembly poll, he said INEC had no justification to cancel the governorship election and validate the House of Assembly poll.

But Governor Ohiakim, who said there were still twelve more suits in different courts and at different stages against his election by his political adversaries, said that his election was divine and that there was nothing anybody could do about it.

He said he was optimistic that God, who saw him through in the 15 different suits in different courts, which he had already won would not desert him.

He said he would win all other cases pending in court against him.

Okonkwo, in the suit struck-out by the court,  had asked the  court to nullify the April 28, 2007 election of Governor Ikedi on the ground  that it was conducted by INEC in breach of section 178 (2) of the 1999 constitution.

The said section provides that governorship election must be conducted not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent Governor of the state.


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