Appeal Court Restores Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere’s Victory
In a significant turn of events, the Lagos Division of the Appeal Court has upheld Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere as the winner of the House of Representatives Election in the Ideato North and South Federal Constituency of Imo State.
This decision comes as a reversal of a prior ruling by the election petition tribunal that invalidated Ugochinyere’s victory and called for a new election.
Tribunal Decision and its Implications
The election petition tribunal, which convened in Mararaba High Court Abuja, had earlier nullified Ugochinyere’s position, citing his party, the Peoples Democratic Party’s failure to conduct a primary election in the constituency.
The tribunal directed that a new election be conducted between candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) within the constituency.
Appeal Court’s Unanimous Decision
In a unanimous decision, the Appeal Court panel led by Justice Abubakar Babandi Gumel set aside the tribunal’s ruling that had removed Ugochinyere from office.
Justice Gumel clarified that the petition was a pre-election matter and thus fell outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, in response to the Appeal Court’s verdict, shared his official statement on social media, affirming his victory in the House of Representatives Election.
This case exemplifies the legal complexities and back-and-forth decisions that can occur in election disputes.
The Appeal Court’s determination that the matter was a pre-election issue and not under the tribunal’s purview has effectively reinstated Ugochinyere as the winner of the election.
It underscores the importance of understanding the legal nuances in election matters and the potential for decisions to be overturned or affirmed in higher courts.