HOT DETAIL(COURT CASE): HOW FEDERAL HIGH COURT JUDGE TRASHED UKAEGBU’S CASE AGAINST OTTI, EHIEMERE
Whatever doubt that was left about Dr. Alex Otti being the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Abia State, was finally erased this morning, by the Federal High Court, sitting in Umuahia.
Justice D. E. Osiagor of the Federal High Court II, dismissed an application brought before him by a former APGA chairman, Chief Nnanna Ukaegbu, asking the court to validate an interim order he obtained in 2014, recognising him as the state APGA chairman. Ukaegbu also prayed the court to compel INEC to recognize the list of a parallel congress he conducted and which brought about the candidacy of Chief Chikwe Udensi for the gubernatorial election, thereby challenging the candidacy of Dr. Otti and Rev. Augustine Ehiemere as the state chairman of APGA.
According to a statement by the director media and publicity of the Alex Otti Campaign organization, Kazie Uko, Justice Osiagor decried a situation where aggrieved politicians have made it a point of duty to always seek for court injunctions against their opponents at every election year.
He took a swipe at the attitude of Nnanna Ukaegbu and others that he (Ukaegbu) was suing on their behalf, saying he did not understand why they always resurrected their penchant for interim and interlocutory injunctions at the eve of every election. According to him the plaintiffs got an injunction in 2014 and again in 2018 they sought another injunction. He added that he would not be surprised if in 2022 the same group of people will come back to court for another injunction.
The court held that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case because it does not fall in the category of a pre-election matter which the court can handle, because the plaintiff was not an aspirant in the just concluded APGA governorship primaries.
Dismissing the application therefore, Justice Osiagor declared that he cannot allow his court become a forum where an interim injunction secured in 2014 will now be turned into a perpetual injunction.
On the issue of the court mandating the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize the candidacy of Chikwe Udensi as APGA candidate in the forth-coming election, the court ruled that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Reacting to the court judgment the Alex Otti Campaign organization expressed relief that finally the unnecessary distraction was over. The director media and publicity described the case as one doomed to fail ab-initio, as the plaintiffs never had any serious grounds, order than pecuniary, upon which the case was instituted.
According to the director media, “These people are interlopers; meddlesome nuisance, one may say. Like the Judge rightly observed, these are people who see election periods as opportune times to enrich themselves. They enjoy playing the spoilers, willing tools in the hands of the opposition and always waking up at election years to abuse court processes. Why is Nnanna Ukaegbu getting involved in APGA matter when he is no longer a member of the party, having been long expelled?”