The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, dismissed a case filed by Abubakar Achimugu against the All Progressives Congress, its Governorship Candidate in Kogi State, Usman Ododo, Ozigi Deedat and INEC for lacking in merit.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu who delivered the judgement in the suit marked “FHC/CS/585/2023: Achimugu v. APC & 3 Ors”, said the cause of action, which arose on April 14, 2023, was not statute barred, but that the Plaintiff’s case was bereft of merit.
Achimugu, who was a governorship aspirant, had sought the disqualification of Ododo and Ozigi Deedat, who came 1st and second during the primary election which held on 14th April 2023, saying that, being persons employed in the Public Service of the Kogi State Government, they did not resign, withdraw or retire before the conduct of the primary election.
Justice Egwuatu, however, held that the 2nd and 3rd defendants duly resigned from their positions in government, even over a period of 30 days before the date of the primaries, hence they were qualified to participate in the primary election.
He said, “Did the 2nd and 3rd Defendants resign as Political Office Holders?
“I have looked at the resignation letters, addressed to the Governor of Kogi State. They were duly received on the 8th of March 2023. The resignation letters became effective from the date of receipt of the letter.”
He noted that the Claimant’s argument that the letters of resignation were not with the APC and INEC was not supported by any law as there was no requirement that same be submitted to INEC or the APC, who are not their employers.
Justice Egwuatu also held that the 30 days required for the resignation of a public servant contained in the Constitution was 30 days before the General Election, not a party’s primary election.
Delivering his judgment, he said, “The election which held on 14th February 2023 was not a general election but a party primary.”
He held that the “the 2nd and 3rd Defendants duly resigned, hence they are qualified to participate in the primary election.”
The suit was therefore dismissed for lacking in merit.
Plaintiff (Achimugu) was represented by Josiah O. Daniel-Ebune Esq; APC was represented by Abdulwahab Muhammed SAN; Ododo, by M.Y. Abdullahi SAN, and INEC, by AA Adeniyi SAN.