Court Affirms Ododo’s Resignation with Kogi Govt, Dismisses Suit

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, declined to disqualify the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State,  Ahmed Usman Ododo.

The court, in the judgement that was delivered by Justice Obiora Egwuatu, dismissed a suit that was brought before it by an aggrieved gubernatorial aspirant of the party, Abubakar Achimugu

Ododo had emerged as winner of a primary election the APC conducted in the state on April 14.

However, dissatisfied with the outcome of the primary poll, the plaintiff approached the court, alleging that the APC candidate did not validly resign his employment with the Kogi state public service, at least, 30 days before he participated in the election.

In in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/584/2023, Achimugu, contended that Ododo’s failure to resign within the the statutorily stipulated period, amounted to a breach of Section 182 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022, and Article 7 of APC’s Constitution.

Cited as 1st to 4th Respondents in the matter, were; APC, Ododo, the deputy governorship candidate, Salami Momodu Deedat, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Specifically, the plaintiff, prayed the court to declare that the 2nd and 3rd defendants, at the time of the concluded primary election of April 14, 2023 and April 15 when results was announced, were not qualified or eligible, not validly nominated, and the purported nomination is unconstitutional, not eligible to bear the flag of the APC, as its gubernatorial candidate for Kogi State governorship election slated for November 11, 2023.

He further prayed the court to make an order nullifying and setting aside the screening and participation of the 2nd and 3rd defendants in the April 14, gubernatorial primary election for the nomination of the candidate of APC, having been in breach of Section 182 of the Constitution and Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022, Article 7 of the APC Constitution.

As well as, “An order compelling the 4th defendant to remove the name of the 2nd defendant from the list of candidates vying for the governorship seat of Kogi State and substituting same with the name of the plaintiff.”

Meanwhile, in his judgement on Tuesday, Justice Egwuatu, held that there was evidence before the court that Ododo validly resigned from service before he participated in the primary election.

The court held that Exhibits that were adduced before it, established that Ododo’s resignation letter was received by the Office of the Kogi State Governor on March 8, while the deputy governorship candidate, Mr. Deedat, tendered his own on March 9.

According to the court, resignation of the defendants took effect from the moment their letter that conveyed the notice, was received by the Kogi state government.

It, therefore, dismissed the suit for want of merit.

Reacting to the judgement, the plaintiff, through his counsel, Mr. Josiah Ebune, vowed to take the matter before the Court of Appeal.

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