Governor Okezie Ikpeazu appears to have crossed his last hurdle in suits challenging his election, as the Supreme Court on Friday in Abuja dismissed an application filed by Mr Friday Nwosu, praying the court to disqualify him as democratically-elected governor of Abia.
Nwosu, a governorship aspirant in the 2014 PDP governorship primaries had challenged the nomination and emergence of Ikpeazu as the state governor on the grounds that he submitted “false’’ tax papers to INEC.
He had urged the court to nullify the election of Ikpeazu and declare him (Nwosu) the governor of Abia.
Justice Amina Adamu-Augie, in the lead judgment, described the appeal as “frivolous and lacking in merit’’.
The Justice awarded fine of N4 million against the appellant (Nwosu) to be paid N1 million each to four respondents to the appeal.
The respondents in the suit are Mr Samson Ogah, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP), Ikpeazu and the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lead judgment was read on behalf of Justice Augie by Justice Sidi Bage.
Nwosu had, in his appeal, challenged the judgment of the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri which declined jurisdiction in the case.
The appellate court panel of five Justices presided over by Justice Jimi Bada had ruled that it lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the appeal.
Specifically, the court held that Nwosu’s appeal was similar to the suit also filed against Ikpeazu by Uche Ogah which the apex court had decided on May 12, 2017.
Nwosu, who contested the Dec. 8, 2014 PDP governorship primaries had accused Ikpeazu of submitting false information and fake tax documents to INEC.
He had instituted the suit at the Federal High Court, Owerri, presided over by Justice A.L. Lewis.
Justice Lewis had on July 8, 2016, dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.
Dissatisfied with the verdict, he proceeded to the Court of Appeal and finally, the Supreme Court.