The Supreme Court has officially declared Senator Athan Achonu as the rightful candidate of the Labour Party (LP) for the upcoming November 11 governorship election in Imo state.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the court’s ruling follows the dismissal of the appeal filed by Basil Maduka, who had contested the Labour Party’s choice of candidate for the election.
According to the court, the basis for this dismissal was a lack of locus standi on the part of the appellant.
The two other respondents involved in the legal matter were the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Joseph Ukaegbu, also known as Ikenga, who was supported by the Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the party. The Supreme Court refused the request of Joseph Ukaegbu, thereby reinforcing Senator Athan Achonu’s candidacy.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, shortly after the judgement released a statement revealing the development.
According to the statement, a panel of five justices, presided over by Justice Iyang Okoro, not only affirmed Senator Athan Achonu’s candidacy but also cautioned the appellant for abusing court processes and for the unwarranted waste of the courts’ time during proceedings at the lower levels of the judiciary.
He said: “The Supreme Court of Nigeria today dismissed an appeal brought before it by one Basil Maduka against the Labour Party over the rightful candidate of the party in the Imo state governorship election on the ground of locus standi.
“With this judgement by the highest court in Nigeria, the Lamidi Apapa’s plot to hijack the affairs of the Labour Party, including the powers to nominate candidates, has finally come to an end,” the statement said.
The statement quoted the counsel to the Labour Party, Okwudili Anozie, to have said: “Today at the Supreme Court, the antics of Basil Maduka and his accomplice Joseph Ukaegbu, alias Ikenga, was put to an end as they met their Waterloo at the Apex Court.
“Today was a culmination of their deceit and lies to Imolites spanning from their misrepresentation of the true position of the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.
“Upon the exposure and collapse of their lies before the Supreme Court today, Basil’s Counsel, with tails in between his legs, immediately withdrew his subterfuge appeal that was aimed at giving credence to Ukaegbu’s sham, non-existent primaries.
“The Supreme Court didn’t entertain Ukaegbu’s counsel’s ignorant attempt to seek a consequential order, which even a first-year student of law knows cannot be sought by a Respondent, especially in this case where the appeal was dismissed.
“Indeed, today has been a day of reckoning for evil-doers whose sole plan was to stop the aspiration of Imolites in their determination to Take Imo Back through Senator Athan Nneji Achonu.”