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Court strikes out PDP’s suit challenging Gov Nwifuru’s nomination

The PDP in a suit no. FHC/AI/CS/7/2023 challenged the validity of the nomination of Nwifuru by the APC on the ground that he was still a member of the People’s Democratic Party and couldn’t had been nominated by the APC as its 2023 governorship candidate in Ebonyi State.


A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State Capital, has granted the request by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to withdraw a suit it instituted against Ebonyi Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, challenging his nomination as governorship candidate by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 general elections.


The Court presided by Justice Fatun Riman on February 4,2023 struck out the case on the ground that it was statute-barred.

The decision followed a notice of preliminary objection filed by the 1st and 2nd Defendants (Rt Hon Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru and the APC) against the PDP’s suit.


Dissatisfied by the Court’s decision, the Plaintiff (PDP) through its Counsel, Chief Mudi Erhenede in a motion on notice dated 15th day of May 2023, asked the Court to set aside its judgment delivered FHC/AI/CS/7/2023 on 14th February 2023 on the ground that the Plaintiff was not served with the preliminary objection filed by the Defendants that led to the dismissal of the case.


Erhenede argued that hearing the notice of preliminary objection by the Court without being served has denied the Plaintiff fair hearing, hence, the motion before the Court to set aside the said ruling.


“The purported notice of preliminary objection upon which the Honourable Court based its ruling of 14th of February 2023 was not served on the plaintiff before the said hearing/decision and has still not been served on the plaintiff till the time of this application,” he argued.


Delivering his judgement, on Thursday June 22, Hon Justice Hyeladzira  Ajiya Nganjiwa, nullified the judgement saying it was done without jurisdiction, and declared it, null and void.


Among other orders, Justice Nganjiwa also directed that the case be relisted back on the Court’s case list for fresh trial.


“That the suit No. FHC/AI/CS/7/2023 struck out on the 14th day of February 2023 be relisted back on the Court’s case list forthwith for same to he heard and determined on its merit,” Justice Nganjiwa ordered.


However, having lost interest in the case since it  was already part of its suit pending at the Ebonyi Governorship tribunal sitting in Abuja, the PDP, through a motion on notice applied for leave for discontinuance of the case.


When the motion on notice came up for hearing on Tuesday, June, 27, 2023, Counsel to the Plaintiff, Barrister Adams Uzuakpunwa Oboke, told the Court that the plaintiff voluntarily applied for the withdrawal the case and urged that the case be struck out.


Both the lead Counsel to the 1st and 2nd defendants, Barrister Ejike Anwu and that of 3rd Defendant, Barrister Ibrahim Obiahu, did not oppose the motion.



Ruling on the motion, Justice Hyeladzira Ajiya Nganjiwa, consequently struck out the case.“


“The Motion by the plaintiff for the leave to discontinue this suit which is not opposed , it is granted as prayed,” the Court ruled.



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