September 28, 2023

Supreme Court dismisses Achimugu’s case against Kogi APC candidate, Ododo

Supreme Court dismisses Achimugu's case against Kogi APC candidate, Ododo

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, dismissed the appeal by a governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kogi State, Abubakar Achimugu, seeking to nullify the primary election that produced Usman Ododo as the party’s governorship candidate for the November 11 election.

The appeal was dismissed by a panel of Supreme Court justices, including John Inyang Okoro, Hellen M. Ogunwunmiju, Adamu Jarrow, Emmanuel Agim and Tijani Abubakar, having been withdrawn by the appellant.

Achimugu had approached the trial court with a suit seeking to disqualify Ododo on the ground that he did not resign his employment with the Kogi State public service 30 days before contesting the governorship primary election.

However, the trial court, in its judgment, held that contrary to the claim of Achimugu, evidence showed that Ododo resigned his appointment more than 30 days before participating in the APC primary election and, therefore, dismissed the suit.

According to Justice Egwuatu, exhibits tendered by the defendants showed that while Ododo’s resignation letter was received by the Office of the Kogi State Governor on March 8, that of the third defendant, Mr Salami Deedat, was received on March 9.

The Appeal Court also held, in a unanimous judgment, that the appeal challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja lacked merit and dismissed it accordingly.

At the Supreme Court’s hearing of the appeal in the case Achimugu v. APC & 3 Ors, on Thursday, K. C. Udeh Oyibo, Achimugu’s lawyer, said that the respondents did not resign their appointments but later agreed that they resigned.

The Supreme Court queried the appellant’s counsel on why his issues for determination in the appellant’s brief did not have any challenge as to why the decision of both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal were perverse.

In view of this omission, the appellant’s counsel was advised to withdraw the appeal.

Accordingly, Achimugu withdrew his appeal and the case was dismissed.

K.C. Ude-Oyibo Esq represented the appellant, Abdulwahab Mohammed, SAN, represented the APC, while S. A Abbass Esq represented the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Ododo and Deedat.

Chief A. A. Adeniyi, SAN, appeared for the fourth respondent, INEC.

In a related development, the Supreme Court, on Thursday, adjourned an appeal filed by Senator Smart Adeyemi against the judgments of the lower courts, on the Kogi APC governorship primary election, to October 23, 2023, for judgment.