The Lamidi Apapa group has suffered a setback in its efforts to prevent the Labour Party’s (LP) governorship candidate, Athan Achonu, from running in Imo State’s election on Saturday.
The Federal High Court in Abuja denied the LP faction’s bid to remove the candidate from the gubernatorial election.
The presiding Judge, Inyang Achonu, rejected an ex-parte application argued by the faction’s counsel, Mohammed Ndarani Mohammed.
Instead of granting the motion, Justice Ekwo ordered Apapa and his group members to notify the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the existence of the litigation so that it may file a reply.
In the ex-parte application marked FCH/ABJ/CS/1357/2023, the faction sought an order of interim injunction prohibiting INEC from recognising or granting recognition to any other person claiming the party’s gubernatorial ticket in Imo State slated for November 11 other than Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu Joseph, who emerged from the Apapa-led primary election on April 16, 2023.
The group also requested a mandatory injunction ordering INEC to acknowledge and post Ukaegbu Joseph’s name as the legitimate governorship and flagbearer of the party in Imo State.
The faction also demanded that INEC issue a mandatory order requiring the name of Lamidi Apapa to be posted as the party’s national chairman, as well as the name of Lawal Saleh as national secretary.
After hearing the move as argued by the lawyer, Justice Ekwo stated that he would not grant such a request and directed the faction to convert the ex-parte motion into a motion on notice and serve it on INEC, the single defendant in the matter.
The Judge said, “I am not granting you this application today and you have to bring INEC to Court to come and explain its own side in this matter.”
The Judge adjourned the case till November 10 to allow Apapa’s faction to state its grievances and INEC to react with its defence.
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