The Court of Appeal, Abuja has struck out a suit seeking to disqualify the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi from participating in the 2023 Presidential Election.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had dismissed the substantive suit instituted by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, LP and Obi as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively.
Dissatisfied with the judgement, the NRM filed an appeal, stating that lower court did not honour the grounds of objection presented before it.
The Appellant among other relieves sought, asked the court to disqualify Obi because the member list the Labour Party submitted to INEC a month before May 30 did not include his name as required by law.
They added that the period between the time the 3rd respondent resigned from the PDP and joined the APC was insufficient and against the Electoral Act as his name was not submitted with other names.
The 2nd and 3rd respondents in the suit filled a counter appeal bounding on jurisdiction and locus standi, stating that there are similar suits against the 3rd respondent and that the suit is simply an abuse of court process.
Delivering the unanimous judgment on behalf of a three-man Panel of the Appellate Court, Justice U. A. Ogakwu struck out the suit on the ground that it lacked merit.
The Court also struck out the cross appeal by the Labour Party for want of jurisdiction.
However in the determination of the Appeal by the appellant, the Court held that “The appellant did not prove his case that the register of members submitted to INEC a month before May 30 did not contain the name of the 3rd respondent”
The Appellant Court held that even though this is proven, that it is not enough to warrant a disqualification as the party presents and sponsors a candidate for elections.
“The appeal is hereby struck out, with the cost of two hundred thousand naira (N200,000) awarded in favour of the 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively”
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