APC Candidate in Kogi State Governorship Election Seeks Dismissal of Disqualification Suit Ahead of November Poll : Usman Ododo


The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the upcoming governorship election in Kogi State on November 11, 2023, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, requesting the dismissal of a lawsuit aiming to disqualify him from the race. Ododo, represented by his lawyer, M. Y. Abdullahi, SAN, informed the Court that the allegations made in the lawsuit are unfounded, asserting that he resigned from his position in the Kogi State government in accordance with the law and is fully eligible to participate in the forthcoming governorship election. During the hearing of the case on Wednesday, the APC candidate maintained that he did not violate any laws when he obtained the Expression of Interest form from his party or when he contested and won the primary election. The gubernatorial candidate stated that he submitted his resignation letter on March 8, 2023, through the office of the State Governor, and it was duly received by the appropriate authorities on the same day. He drew the Court's attention to Section 306 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), emphasizing that regardless of whether his resignation was acknowledged or accepted, it became effective from the date he submitted the letter. Ododo argued that the plaintiff in the lawsuit cannot provide any documentary evidence, such as pay slips or salary payments, to contradict his claim of resignation. Furthermore, the APC candidate contended that the plaintiff prematurely initiated the lawsuit since the cause of action had not yet arisen at the time of filing. Consequently, he urged the Court to consider his 19-paragraph affidavit and dismiss the plaintiff's case due to its lack of merit, incompetence, and baselessness. The position of the APC candidate was supported by the APC itself, represented by Abdulwahab Mohammed, SAN, who requested the Court to dismiss the suit and impose substantial costs. During Wednesday's proceedings before Justice Obiora Egwatu, the plaintiff's counsel, Daniel-Ebune, presented 16 exhibits in support of the Originating Summons and the case. He insisted that Ododo violated Sections 20, 21, 124, 147 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 159 of the Evidence Act. He urged the Judge to invoke the relevant provisions of the law to disqualify the gubernatorial candidate from the race on November 11. Justice Egwuatu, after hearing arguments from both sides, scheduled the delivery of judgment on the matter for July 18.


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