Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court Abuja has affirmed an ex-Auditor General of Local Government in Kogi State, Usman Ododo, as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 11, 2023 governorship election in the state.
Delivering judgement, Justice Egwuatu dismissed a suit that was brought before it by an APC governorship aspirant of the party, Abubakar Achimugu.
Ododo emerged as winner of the party’s primary conducted in the state on April 14.
However, dissatisfied with the outcome of the poll, the plaintiff approached the court, alleging that the APC candidate did not validly resign his employment with the Kogi State Public Service at least 30 days before he participated in the election.
In the suit brought before the court, Achimugu claimed that Ododo’s failure to resign within the the statutorily stipulated period amounted to a breach of Section 182 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022, as well as Article 7 of APC’s Constitution.
The plaintiff specifically prayed the court to declare that the 2nd and 3rd defendants, at the time of the concluded primary election of April 14, 2023 and April 15 when results was announced, were not qualified or eligible, not validly nominated, and the purported nomination is unconstitutional, not eligible to bear the flag of the APC, as its governorship candidate for Kogi State governorship election slated for November 11, 2023.
He further prayed the court to make an order nullifying and setting aside the screening and participation of the 2nd and 3rd defendants in the April 14, gubernatorial primary election for the nomination of the candidate of APC, having been in breach of Section 182 of the Constitution and Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022, Article 7 of the APC Constitution.
In his judgement, Justice Egwuatu held that there was evidence before the court that Ododo validly resigned from service before he participated in the primary.
The court held that exhibits that were adduced before it established that Ododo’s resignation letter was received by the Office of the Kogi State Governor on March 8.
According to the court, the resignation of the defendant took effect from the moment his letter that conveyed the notice was received by the Kogi State Government.
It, therefore, dismissed the suit for want of merit.