The matter involving Senator Hope Uzodinma and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2019 governorship candidate and his party, will come up today at the Federal High Court , Simultaneously with the Supreme Court case in Abuja.
The said suit, in which the PDP is an applicant; is seeking the enforcement of an earlier judgment secured by APP, which declared that Uche Nwosu had dual candidature, having been presented by Action Alliance (AA) and All Progressive Congress APC, an action that contravenes the provisions of the Electoral Act. Hence the two political parties did not have genuine governorship candidates in the 2019 election.
The PDP, is also praying that, considering the fact that, by virtue of the aforementioned Supreme Court judgment, the APC on which platform Governor Hope Uzodinma emerged, did not have a candidate, hence the candidate of the party that came second, being the PDP, should be declared the lawful winner of the election.
It will be recalled that Barr. Umeadi, (SAN), a former INEC Commissioner, who is the lead counsel of PDP, in the matter had approached the Supreme Court, to enforce it’s earlier judgment that disqualified Uche Nwosu, on the ground of dual candidature.
It is however, not clear, in view of unfolding developments, whether the matter is billed for judgment today or for ruling on preliminary objections bordering on locus standi or the capacity of the court to hear the matter, since it had earlier decided on it and as Uzodinma’s lawyer claims,has become “functus officio”.
The source, further stated that the matter before the Supreme Court, is coming simultaneously with a similar matter instituted against INEC by the Governorship candidate of Reformed Advancement Party (RAP), Barr. Kingdom Okere, at the Federal High Court, Owerri, seeking constitutional interpretation of the same Supreme Court judgment, earlier delivered by the apex court, in respect of Uche Nwosu’s dual candidature.
However, it was gathered at the time of going to press that Barr Kingdom Okere had withdrawn his case at Abuja Federal High court with Suit NO FHC/ABJ/CS/677/2020.It was not clear what would have prompted Okere’s decision to withdraw the matter.
A legal pundit who commented on the issue, on condition of anonymity, said, “since the two cases border on the same matter, the Federal High Court may step down the case and await the decision of the Supreme Court, on the matter but if the applicant withdraws the case, it is for the interest of PDP as both parties are seeking the enforcement of the earlier judgement”.
He further posited that, “for now, nobody can actually decode the body language of the apex court, as it may decide to rule on all applications today, or adjourn for judgment, as nobody can predict it’s move”.
Keen observers of political developments in the state are apprehensively watching unfolding developments with interest and praying that the cases come to an end.