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S’Court fine Ozekhome N40m over ‘frivolous motion’

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The Supreme Court has levied a hefty fine of N40 million on Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, for submitting a motion deemed frivolous, vexatious, and irritating in connection to the 2019 Imo state governorship case. 

According to The Nation, the court, presided over by Justice Tijani Abubakar, dismissed a related application by Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday, December 5, seeking a certificate of return as the legitimate governor of Imo state.

Ozekhome, serving as Ihedioha’s legal representative, received the fine for introducing a motion at the Apex Court aimed at revalidating the suit that ousted Ihedioha as governor in 2019. 

Justice Abubakar ruled that Ozekhome must personally pay the N40 million fine to four respondents involved in the case: the Action People’s Party, Uche Nnadi, Uche Nwosu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The contentious motion, which the court deemed frivolous, requested a consequential order compelling INEC to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to Ihedioha, allowing him to complete a four-year tenure as Imo Governor. 

Ozekhome argued that the incumbent governor, Hope Uzodinma, unlawfully occupied the four years that Ihedioha was entitled to.

The motion further claimed that the All Progressives Congress had no valid candidate in the 2019 Imo governorship election, asserting that Uzodinma should not have been made governor on the APC platform. 

However, the Supreme Court dismissed the motion, citing a lack of jurisdiction to entertain such requests. 

Justice Abubakar, in the ruling, described the motion as strange, frivolous, baseless, unwarranted, vexatious, and irritating, asserting that it was a deliberate attempt to discredit the integrity of the Supreme Court.

 

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