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The Court Has Set A Date For The Disqualification Of Anambra Governor Soludo

Soludo
The Court Has Set A Date For The Disqualification Of Anambra Governor Soludo

A date has been set for the disqualification of Anambra Governor-elect Soludo by the court.

Touchaheart Nigeria reports that the Federal High Court in Abuja set a November 30 hearing date for the suit contesting the qualification of Anambra State governor-elect, Prof. Charles Soludo, and deputy governor-elect, Onyeka Ibezim, to run in the state’s recent governorship election.

According to this online journal, Justice Taiwo Taiwo set the date after the parties’ lawyers submitted their last submissions.

Adindu Valentine and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, the plaintiffs, claim that Soludo gave fraudulent information in his affidavit (Form EC9) to the Independent National Electoral Commission, and that he should be disqualified to run for office.

The plaintiffs alleged in the complaint titled FHC/ABJ/CS/711/2021 that Soludo said in his affidavit that he was contesting the Aguata 2 Constituency seat while he was actually contesting the Anambra governorship seat.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Soludo, and Ibezim are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers, A. O. Ijeri and Kelvin Okoko, stated in their final filing that by indicating the wrong seat he was contesting, Soludo provided INEC with false information, breached existing legal prohibitions, and should be disqualified.

“The constitution has made a state a constituency in relation to the governorship election, but in this case, the third defendant (Soludo) named Aguata 2 as the constituency he is contesting,”

Ijeri said.

In contrast to the attorneys for the second through fourth defendants, Ijeri contended that his clients had established a cause of action and that the court had jurisdiction to decide the matter.

“The cause of action in a pre-election matter, by the provision of Section 285(9) of the Constitution, is determined by the date of the occurrence of the event, a decision or action complained about in the suit by the plaintiff.

“There is evidence that INEC received the submitted Form EC9 on July 6n 2021,” Ijeri said. He then asked the court to find the matter meritorious and give the plaintiffs’ requested relief.

Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), a lawyer for APGA and Soludo, contended that the suit was without merit and that the court lacked jurisdiction.

Ikpeazu argued that an affidavit error could not be used to prevent a candidate from running for office, pointing out that the false information covered by Section 31 of the Electoral Act was criminal in character.

C. Mbaeri, Ibezim’s lawyer, argued in a similar vein, pleading with the court to sustain his objection and dismiss the case.

INEC’s lawyer, Bashir Abubakar, claimed his client did not file any legal documents in the case and has chosen to leave the judgment to the court’s discretion.

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