Friday, February 23, 2024

Kogi 2023: Court dismisses Achimugu’s case against Ododo, others

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, dismissed the case filed by Abubakar Achimugu against the All Progressives Congress, its governorship candidate in Kogi State, Usman Ododo, Ozigi Deedat, and the Independent National Electoral Commission for lacking in 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 was held on April 14, 2023.

He stated that the duo as persons employed in the public service of the Kogi State Government, did not resign, withdraw or retire before the conduct of the primary election.

Justice Obiora 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, “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.”

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.

He held 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.

“The election which was held on 14th February 2023 was not a general election but a party primary.

“The 2nd and 3rd Defendants duly resigned; hence they are qualified to participate in the primary election,” the judge said.

Consequently, he dismissed the suit for lacking merit.

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