Emerging report reaching on Wednesday, indicates that the Federal High Court Abuja, has adjourned until July 20, to hear a suit filed by the Reform and Advancement Party, RAP, and its 2019 Governorship Candidate in Imo State, Okere Kingdom, asking the court to restrain Governor Hope Uzodinma, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from acting as the Governor of Imo State.
When the matter was called on Wednesday, Kingdom, who is also a Lawyer, told the court that he filed an application praying the court to abridge the time within which the Defendants would file their responses.
Under the rule of law, the Defendants have 30 days to respond, but the Plaintiff told the court that he made the application for the court to abridge the time, due to the urgency of the matter.
Kingdom maintained that the matter is of constitutional importance, because Governor Uzodinma is occupying the seat of Imo State Governor illegally, having not participated in the 2019 elections as a Candidate of any political party.
All the Defendants objected to the application, on the grounds that they needed the time given by the 1999 Constitution, as amended, to respond.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Alhassan Umar, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, told the court that in line with the principles of fair hearing, the Defendants needed to take sufficient time as allocated by the law to respond.
He argued that the Plaintiff could not take the required time to file his processes, only to ask the court to abridge the time for the Respondents to file their responses.
The Judge, Okon Abang, however, adjourned the matter until July 20, to hear the application.
He also directed that hearing notices should be served on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, since the party was not represented in court today.
The RAP and its 2019 Governorship Candidate, approached the court seeking judicial interpretation on whether the All Progressives Congress, APC, indeed sponsored Uzodinma in the 2019 Imo State Governorship election.
Kingdom disclosed that the suit was predicated on the judgement of the Supreme Court which affirmed Uche Nwosu as the duly nominated 2019 Imo State Governorship Candidate of the APC.
He said that one of the issues he wants the court to determine, is whether Uzodinma lawfully participated and was sponsored by the APC, to contest the 2019 Imo State Governorship election, in accordance with Section 177 (c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
His words: “This is having regard to the tenor, clear, and unambiguous legal implications/consequences of the judgement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, in appeal no: SC/1384/2019, which upheld the decision of both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court, and affirmed Uche Nwosu as the authentic and duly elected/nominated 2019 Imo State Governorship Candidate of the APC.”