The Supreme Court in Nigeria has fixed January 24, 2014 for judgment on the suit filed by the governor of Imo State, Mr Rochas Okorocha challenging the decision of the Appeal Court in Owerri to allow Mr Ikedi Ohakim to join in the suit filed by Mr Ifeanyi Ararume.
Mr Ararume, who was the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2011 governorship election, had challenged the constitutionality of the May 6 supplementary election that brought Okorocha to power.
Mr Ohakim was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
At the resumed hearing of the suit in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, counsel to governor Okorocha, Mr Niyi Akintola adopted his brief of argument and prayed the court to rule in his favour.
The lawyer to the PDP, Mr Wole Olanipekun however informed the court of a preliminary objection he filed, saying the appeal by Governor Okorocha is an incompetent one.
Mr. Awa Kalu representing Mr. Ifeanyi Ararume, who did not challenge the suit, stressed that every litigant had a right of appeal.
It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal in a ruling delivered by Justice Hussein Mukhtar has dismissed Okorocha’s objection to Ohakim’s application and consequently made Ohakim an appellant in the case.
Okorocha in his Supreme Court appeal argued that Ohakim’s party, the PDP, had earlier challenged the subject matter of the suit at the election petitions tribunal and lost arguing further that the PDP also challenged the decision of the election tribunal at the Supreme Court and lost.
According to him, allowing Ohakim to challenge the high court’s judgment on appeal was to afford him the opportunity to pursue two remedies against the same infraction in two courts at the same time.