Justice Abang will today, July 20, decide the removal of Hope Uzodinma, Imo State Governor.
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, had on Wednesday, July 17, adjourned a suit asking the court to restrain Governor Hope Uzodinma from acting as Imo governor.
When the suit filed by the 2019 governorship candidate of the Reform and Advancement Party (RAP), Okere Kingdom, was called on July 17, the Imo governorship candidate in the 2019 election told the court that he filed an application praying the court to abridge the time within which the defendants would file their responses.
The defendants have 30 days under the rule of law, to respond but the plaintiff told the court that he made the application for the court to abridge the time due to the urgency of the matter, this is even as the RAP governorship, who is also a lawyer, held that the matter was of constitutional importance because Uzodinma was occupying the seat of Imo governor illegally, having not participated in the 2019 election as a candidate of any political party.
All the defendants in the case objected to the application on the grounds that they needed the time given by the constitution to respond, with Alhassan Umar (SAN), the counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), praying the court that in line with the principles of fair hearing, the defendants needed to take sufficient time as allocated by the law to respond.
Umar, the counsel to INEC argued that the plaintiff could not take the required time to file his processes only to ask the court to abridge the time for the respondents.
After listening to the prayers, the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, adjourned the case until July 20 to hear the application and directed that hearing notices should be served on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since the party was not represented in court.
The Reform and Advancement Party (RAP) and its 2019 governorship candidate, approached the court seeking judicial interpretation on whether the All Progressives Congress (APC) indeed sponsored Mr Uzodinma in the 2019 Imo governorship election.
Kingdom said the suit was predicated on the judgment of the Supreme Court which affirmed Uche Nwosu as the duly nominated 2019 Imo governorship candidate of the APC.
The RAP candidate for the 2019 governorship election said that one of the issues he wanted the court to determine was whether Mr Uzodinma lawfully participated and was sponsored by the APC to contest the 2019 Imo governorship election in accordance with Section 177 (c) of the 1999 Constitution.
“This is having regard to the tenor, clear and unambiguous legal implications/consequences of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in appeal no: SC/1384/2019 which upheld the decision of both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court and affirmed Uche Nwosu as the authentic and duly elected/nominated 2019 Imo State governorship candidate of the APC.”