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Court rejects LP faction’s bid to stop Imo gov candidate

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has declined to grant a motion ex parte brought by a faction of the Labour Party to stop Athan Achonu as the party’s governorship candidate in Imo State’s upcoming election.

Justice Inyang Ekwo refused to grant the plaintiffs’ request for an interim injunction recognizing their candidate, Chief Joseph Ukaegbu, as the party’s validly elected standard bearer.

Instead, the judge directed the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mohammed Mohammed, SAN, to serve the Independent National Electoral Commission, the sole defendant in the case, with notice of the motion.

“I am going to allow you to adopt it (the motion) but I will not grant it,” Justice Ekwo said

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“I am not granting you the application today because you have to bring them to court. Let it be that they have been served and they are not in court.”

The judge said he had studied the plaintiffs’ prayers and averments in support of the motion, and that he needed to hear from INEC before making a further ruling. 

“I think that I need to hear from the defendant (INEC) before making further Order on the motion,” he said, adjourning the matter until Friday for INEC to show cause.

The plaintiffs in the case are the LP, Alhaji Lamidi Apapa (acting national chairman), Alhaji Lawal Saleh (acting national secretary), Comrade Abayomi Arabambi (national publicity secretary), Comrade Anslem Eragbe (national youth leader), Barr. Akingbade Oyelekan (national legal adviser), and Chief Joseph Ikechukwu Ukaegbu (governorship candidate for Imo State).

They had sought an interim injunction restraining INEC from recognizing any other person or persons as the LP’s gubernatorial candidate in Imo State, and an order directing INEC to recognize, upload, and publish Ukaegbu’s name as the party’s candidate. 

They also sought an order directing INEC to upload the names of Apapa and Saleh as the acting national chairman and acting national secretary, respectively.

 

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