Abubakar Achimugu has gone to the Supreme Court with an appeal seeking to disqualify the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the November Kogi governorship election, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo.
Achimugu, a governorship aspirant in the recently conducted APC primary election, appealed against the judgement of Justice Obiora Egwuatu delivered on 18th July which affirmed Ododo’s candidature.
A three-member panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal in Abuja had, on August 18, 2023, dismissed Achimugu’s appeal against a judgement of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which affirmed Ododo as the APC flagbearer for the November 11, 2023 governorship election in Kogi.
The appellate court, in a unanimous judgement, held that Achimugu’s appeal is bereft of merit and affirmed the judgement of the trial court.
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 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.
“Satisfied that they resigned their appointment on March 8 and 9, more than 30 days before the April 14 primary election of the APC, the suit is bereft of any merit and is accordingly dismissed”, the court held.
Dissatisfied with the judgements of the two lower courts, Achimugu, through his counsel, Josiah Daniel-Ebune, in a notice of appeal held that the Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice in affirming the decision of the trial court that the 2nd and 3rd Defendants duly resigned their appointments and thus not caught up with the mandatory provision of the law requiring them to do so before they participated in the APC’s Gubernatorial Primary Election for Kogi State held on the 14th April 2023 which result was declared on 15th April 2023.
He said the Court of Appeal missed it, by looking for issues for determination directly from the judgment appealed from, instead of looking at the grounds of appeal to relate them to the judgment and that, the Justices erred in law, prejudged the appeal, and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it held that, it, “is unable to see the relationship between the two issues for determination formulated by Counsel to the Appellant and the issue raised, canvassed and pronounced upon by the lower court”.
Achimugu therefore prayed the apex court for an order setting aside the decision contained in the Judgment of the Court of Appeal Abuja division delivered on the 18th of August, 2023 as well as an order granting all the reliefs sought by the Plaintiff on the Amended Originating Summons.