Supreme Court fines Ozekhome N40m for filing frivolous motion against Uzodinma

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Mike-Ozekhome
Mike-Ozekhome

The Supreme Court has imposed a N40 million cost against Mike Ozekhome (SAN) for aiding the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2019 governorship election in imo State, Emeka Ihedioha to file what the court termed a frivolous motion.

Justice Abubakar, in a ruling on Tuesday , dismissed the motion by Ihedioha and the PDP, with which they prayed the court to set aside its January 14, 2020 judgment, replacing Ihedioha with Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the governor of Imo State

Justice Abubakar gave the lead ruling of seven-man panel of the court, headed by Justice John Okoro.

In their motion, Ihedioha and the PDP had argued among others, that Uzodinma was not validly nominated by the APC to contest the 2019 election.

They urged the court to invalidate the years  Uzodinma spent in office as Imo Governor.

The motion by Ihedioha and the PDP was filed in an appeal originally filed by  Uche Nwosu, who was the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in the 2019 election, in which they applied to be joined as an interested party.

In the motion, Ihedioha and the PDP equally urged the Supreme Court to give effect to its 2019 judgment that disqualified Nwosu on the ground that he had dual nomination, having been nominated by both the AA and the APC for the same governorship election.

They had argued that since the apex court recognised Nwosu as a candidate of the APC for the same election, there was no legal basis for  judgement sacking Ihedioha and declaring Uzodinma (who it also found to have been sponsored by the same APC and for the same election) as the actual winner of the election.

Ihedioha and the PDP urged the Supreme Court to restore Ihedioha to office since the APC could not  legally sponsor two candidates for the same election

They argued that since Uzodinma did not contest the election as an independent candidate, there was no legal basis for him to be recognized as the validly elected Governor of Imo State.

Ihedioha and the PDP argued  that there was no basis for the conduct of the recent election held in the state on November 11 because Ihedioha was yet to conclude his tenure

At the mention of the case on Tuesday, the court noted that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain a motion filed in respect of a governorship election held over four years ago.

Members of the court’s panel drew the attention of Ozekhome (lawyer to Ihedioha and the PDP) to the futility of his clients’ efforts and why he should withdraw the motion.

Ozekhome ignored the Justices’ body language and proceeded to move the motion, which the court, in its ruling, dismissed for being without merit, “highly vexatious and frivolous.”

The court proceeded to  award cost of N40 million against  Ozehkome, which it insisted must be paid by the lawyer personally.

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