Kogi Guber: Achimugu Drags Ododo to Appeal Court 

A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Mr. Abubakar Achimugu has appealed the judgement of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which affirmed Ahmed Ododo as the flagbearer for the November 11, 2023 governorship election in the state.

Achimugu had approached the trial court with a suit seeking to disqualify Ododo from contesting the November 11 governorship election on grounds that he did not resign his employment with the Kogi State public service 30 days before contesting the governorship primary election.

But, the trial Judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a judgement delivered on 18th July held that Ahmed Ododo can lawfully continue to fly the flag of the APC in the November 11, 2023 governorship election in Kogi State.

Achimugu, in a Notice of Appeal filed on July 21 through his counsel, Josiah Daniel-Ebune said Justice Egwuatu erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he held that Ododo and Salami Deedat (2nd and 3rd defendants) duly resigned their appointment and thus, not caught up with the mandatory provision of what the law requires them to do before they participated in the APC’s governorship primary election for Kogi state held on April 15, 2023.

He said the trial court also erred in law when, in dismissing his suit, ignored the uncontroverted evidence regarding credibility of the two purported letters of resignation exhibited by the APC, Ododo and Deedat and expressly rejected his paragraphs 5.2 – 5.4 of his reply address of the imperative of Ododo and Deedat lodging the said purported letters of the resignation along with their expression of interest form with APC within the 30 days period required by the law, by holding that such contention is not supported by any law.

Achimugu said the trial Judge erred in law and misconceived the purport of his originating summons by holding that he changed his case from the original contention and was therefore not consistent in presenting the case, by approbating and reprobating, as a result, he prejudged the amended originating summons and thereby came to an erroneous decision dismissing his suit.

According to Achimugu, the trial court erred in law in misapplying the provision of Section 306(2) of the constitution and the cases of Yusuf V Governor of Edo state and Zubair V Mohammed to the facts and issues in his case and occasioned a miscarriage of justice, among other grounds.

He asked the appellate court for an order setting aside the judgement of the trial court and grant all his reliefs sought in his amended originating summons.

After the emergence of Ododo as the APC’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State, Achimugu, who was also an aspirant approached the Court, asking that Ododo be disqualified from contesting the forthcoming governorship election on grounds that he did not resign his employment with the Kogi State public service 30 days before contesting the governorship primary.

But, the court, in its judgment, held that contrary to the claim of Achimugu, evidence showed that Ododo resigned his appointment more than 30 days before participating in the APC primary.

According to Justice Egwuatu, exhibits tendered by the defendants showed that while Ododo’s resignation letter was received by the Office of the Kogi State Governor on March 8, that of the 3rd defendant, Mr Salami Deedat, was received on March 9.

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