By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
Following the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja that sacked him as the bona-fide candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Imo West senatorial constituency, Chief Hope Uzodinma, yesterday, went before an Appeal Court in Abuja with a view to setting it aside.
He is asking the appellate court to go ahead and review the judgment delivered against him by Justice Abdul Kafarati, insisting that the presiding judge erred in law by nullifying his candidacy without looking into a preliminary objection he raised against the substantive suit.
He is praying the appellate court to, in the interim, order a stay of execution of the said judgment, pending the hearing and determination of his appeal or in the alternative, issue an order remitting the case file back to another high court judge for adjudication.
He contended that not only was he not served with the requisite originating processes before the judgment was entered against him, but that the plaintiff, Senator Osita Izunaso, who was declared winner by the court, grossly abused the judicial process by filing same suit before a High Court in Owerri, with suit number HOW/26/2011.
It would be recalled that the Federal High Court last Friday ordered the PDP to forthwith, remove the name of Uzodinma as its candidate for the said constituency, even as it equally restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from recognizing him as the party’s candidate for the forthcoming general election.
The court held that Uzodinma was not eligible to take part and or contest as an aspirant in the said primary election having been certified unfit ab-initio by the PDP screening panel.
Justice Kafarati held that “the plaintiff having scored the highest number of votes amongst the eligible contestants/candidates in the primary election conducted by the 2nd Defendant, PDP, for the Imo West senatorial district is entitled to have his name submitted to the 3rd defendant, INEC, as the sponsored candidate of the 2nd defendant in the forthcoming general election for the senatorial district.