Senator Athan Achonu’s governorship ambition under the Labour Party (LP) in Imo State has triumphed over another legal challenge as a Federal High Court in Abuja rejected an application by the Lamidi Apapa faction of the party. The faction had sought to prevent Achonu from participating in the upcoming governorship election in the state.
In the ex-parte application, Apapa’s faction requested an interim injunction to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing Achonu as the party’s governorship candidate. Instead, they urged the court to recognize Ukaegbu Ikechukwu Joseph, who emerged from their primary election on April 16, 2023.
However, Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled on Friday that the contentious issues outlined in INEC’s affidavit could not be resolved through an ex-parte application. The judge deemed the application, brought by the faction’s counsel, Mohammed Ndarani Mohammed (SAN), as premature.
Justice Ekwo stated, “That being the case, I am of the opinion that the interest of justice would be better served if this matter is determined on its merit and not through an ex-parte application as requested by the plaintiffs.” The suit has been adjourned to November 23.
In a related development, the governorship ambition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, has also overcome legal challenges. The Court of Appeal in Abuja dismissed a suit seeking Sylva’s exclusion from the governorship race, clearing the path for his participation in the upcoming election in Bayelsa State.
Justice Binta Zubar, delivering the judgment, deemed the suit unjustifiable and brought in bad faith by the appellant, Hon Isikima Ogbomade Johnson, against Sylva and two others. The court’s decision ensures Sylva’s continued candidacy in the Bayelsa governorship election scheduled for the near future.