Court nullifies Okorocha’s son-in-law’s participation in 2019 Imo governorship election
A Federal High Court in Abuja has voided the participation by Uche Nwosu in the last general election in Imo State as a governorship candidate.
Nwosu, who is married to a daughter to the immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, was also the Chief of Staff during Okorocha’s administration.
In a judgment on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo held among others, that having been nominated by the Action Alliance (AA) while his earlier nomination by the All Progressives Congress (APC) still subsisted, Nwosu engaged in multiple nomination in violation of the provision of Section 37 of the Electoral Act.
Justice Ekwo observed that Nwosu participated in the APC’s primary held on October 6, 2018 and was nominated as its governorship candidate. But that, while still holding on to the APC ticket, he went before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and obtained an order made in is favour by Justice Valentine Ashi (now late), which upheld is claim to being APC’s candidate.
The judge noted that while the order by Justice Ashi was still pending, Nwosu was also offered the ticket of the AA, which e accepted.
Justice Ekwo declared that Nwosu, “has not been validly nominated by the 3rd defendant (AA) as its governorship candidate for the Imo State governorship election having been made at the pendency of the order of Justice Valentine Ashi of the Abuja High Court recognising the 2nd defendant as the candidate of the APC for the Imo State 2019 governorship election.”
The judge equally declared that Nwosu’s nomination by AA as its governorship candidate, was invalid, null and void, having been made at the pendency of a similar nomination of the 2nd defendant (Nwosu) by the APC for the same position”.
The judge noted that Nwosu affirmed to be the APC’s governorship candidate in his statement on oath sworn before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
He ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the name of Uche Nwosu as a governorship candidate in the last election held in Imo State.
The judgement was on a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/235/2019 filed on February 27, 2019 by the Action People’s Party (APP) and its Deputy National Chairman, Uche Nnadi, in which they argued, among others, that Nwosu was not a valid candidate in the election on grounds of multiplicity of nominations by both the APC and AA.
In the judgment, Justice Ekwo observed that: “There is no controversy that, on October 6, 2018, the 2nd defendant (Nwosu) had himself nominated as the governorship candidate of the APC.
“Furthermore, there is no controversy that, to secure his nomination by the APC, the 2nd defendant on October 9, 2019, obtained an order of the High Court of the Federal High Court which subsists having not been set aside.”
The judge added that Nwosu failed to provide any contrary evidence to the plaintiffs’ evidence that he was nominated by both the APC and the AA.
He also noted INEC, who was equally sued in the case failed to participate in the proceedings by filing documents.
Justice Ekwo proceeded to hold that: “It is illegal in the eyes of the law. No one is allowed to benefit from an illegal act. The 2nd defendant allowed himself to be nominated by the APC and the 3rd defendant (AA).
“It is hereby declared that the nomination of the 2nd defendant by the All Progressives Congress and Action Alliance, the 3rd defendant, is invalid, null and void and constitute violation of section 37 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
“An order of this honourable court is hereby made directing the 1st defendant (INEC) to remove the name of the 2nd defendant (Nwosu) as the governorship of the 3rd defendant (AA) in the 2019 Imo State governorship election for multiple nomination in violation of the provision of section 37 of the Electoral Act 2018 (as amended).
“An order of this honourable court is hereby made restraining the 1st defendant (INEC) from recognising the 2nd defendant (Nwosu) as the governorship of the 3rd defendant (AA) and/or any other political party for the 2019 Imo State governorship election.
“An order of this honourable court is hereby made restraining the 1st defendant (INEC) from giving value to any act done in pursuance of the 2nd defendant purported candidature of the 3rd defendant (AA) and/or any other political party in the 2019 Imo State governorship election.”
Earlier in the judgement, Justice Ekwo the notice of objection filed by Nwosu and also faulted the separate defences he and the AA filed in the case.