The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal by a governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Kogi State, Abubakar Achimugu, seeking to nullify the primary election of the party, which produced Usman Ododo as the APC Governorship candidate for the election slated for November 11 in the state.
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Emmanuel Agim and Tijani Abubakar, having been withdrawn by the Appellant.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.
But 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 3rd 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 ommission, 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, S. A Abbass Esq represented the 2nd and 3rd Respondents, Ododo and Deedat; while
Chief A. A Adeniyi, SAN, appeared for the 4th 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.
Adeyemi had filed a suit at the Federal High Court seeking to nullify the primary election of the APC, which produced Usman Ododo as the party’s flagbearer for the state’s governorship election slated for November 11. The case was dismissed by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal for lacking in merit.
The apex court, while hearing his appeal, on Thursday, told his lawyer, Musibau Adetumbi, SAN, that his client was appealing against concurrent findings of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, which held that primary elections were held in Kogi State but that he had failed to challenge these concurrent findings.
But the Appellant’s counsel said he would go ahead to argue the appeal.
The Supreme Court therefore adjourned the appeal to 23rd October, 2023 for judgment.
Chief Anthony Adeniyi, SAN, represented the Independent National Electoral Commission, Abdulwahab Mohammed, SAN, represented the All Progressives Congress, while M.Y. Abdullahi, SAN, represented the APC Governorship Candidate, Usman Ododo.
The Court of Appeal had, on August 18, 2023, held that the appeal argued by Adekunle Oladapo Otitoju on behalf of Senator Adeyemi was completely bereft of merit.
In a unanimous judgment of a 3-man panel of Justices of the Court, Adeyemi was said to have failed woefully to establish all grievous criminal allegations made against the conduct of the primary election by APC and its leaders.