Governor Hope Uzodimma has survived another legal action aimed at removing him from power. He survived after Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a suit seeking to nullify the election of Hope Uzodinma and his Deputy Prof Placid Njoku. The applicant had also pleaded with the court to declare the office of governor in Imo State vacant.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo in his ruling on Monday, July 19, held that the applicant, Mcfyne C. Chikwedu lacked the locus standi to bring up the case having not participated in the primaies., adding that the suit was “patently non-justiciable.”
The judge noted that the election that brought Uzodimma had been affirmed by the Supreme Court and his court was not an election tribunal that could sit on appeal over elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He ordered Chikwedu to pay INEC N250,000 as costs “for bringing such a frivolous and meaningless suit to this court for adjudication.”
INEC and the Attorney-General of The Federation (AGF) were the first and second defendants, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1085/2020.
The judgment followed Chikwedu’s suit alleging the Governor Uzodimma did not meet the constitutional requirement to be declared winner of the March 9 gubernatorial election of Imo State.
However, dismissing the suit, Justice Taiwo ruled:
“If I may ask, was he (Chikwedu) a contestant in the Imo Governorship Election in 2019? He only described himself in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the affidavit in support of the originating summons thus: ‘(1) That I am the plaintiff in this suit and an indigene of Ikeduru LGA of Imo State. (2) That by virtue of my position I am conversant with the facts of this case.’
“These averments are not enough to cloth the plaintiff with the toga of locus standi.
“It is a notorious fact that the issue of the Imo State governorship election has been litigated up to the Supreme Court; the Apex Court in the land on the 14th of January, 2020 and it was held among other things that Senator Hope Uzodimma is the winner of the Governorship Election of Imo State and that the Certificate of Returns be issued to him.
“This court cannot shut its eyes to these facts…This case has no legs to stand on. It is dead on arrival and nothing can be done to resuscitate it. I need to state that cases of this nature ought not to be permitted to see the light of day if not for the constitutional provision as to fair hearing.
“I am of the well-considered view that parties should desist from bringing such time-wasting suits to court knowing fully well that they have no chance to succeed. The time of the court is very precious.
“This case is dismissed in its entirety. This is the judgment of the court,” he said in dismissing the move to remove Uzodimma from office as governor.