The Federal High Court, Abuja has rejected the bid of Lamidi Apapa faction of the Labour Party, LP, to kick out Athan Achonu, from participating in the Imo state governorship election scheduled for Saturday, November 11.
The court rejected the appeal of the controversial faction of the LP to kick out the candidate from the gubernatorial poll.
In an ex-parte application led by the faction’s counsel, Mohammed Ndarani Mohammed, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Justice Inyang Ekwo disagreed with the attempt to exclude Achonu from the election through ex-parte means.
Instead of granting the request, Justice Ekwo instructed Apapa and his group to inform the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, about the lawsuit so that it could prepare its defense.
The faction had in the ex-parte application marked: FCH/ABJ/CS/1357/2023 applied for an order of interim injunction restraining INEC from recognizing or according recognition to any other person laying claim to the gubernatorial ticket of the party in Imo State slated for November 11 other than Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu Joseph who emerged from Apapa led primary election of April 16, 2023.
The group also sought for order of mandatory injuction compelling INEC to recognize and upload the name of Ikechukwu Joseph as the authentic gubernatorial and flagbearer of the party in Imo State.
The faction further demanded for a mandatory order against INEC that the name of Lamidi Apapa be uploaded as the national chairman of the party as well as Alhaji Lawal Saleh as national secretary.
However, Justice Ekwo after listening attentively to the motion as argued by the lawyer said he would not grant such request and ordered the faction to turn the ex-parte motion to motion on notice and serve same on INEC being the sole defendant in the suit.
“Iam not granting you this application today and you have to bring INEC to Court to come and explain its own side in this matter”, the Judge said.
Meanwhile, the Judge has scheduled further mention in the matter till November 10 to enable Apapa’s faction present its grievances and INEC to respond with its defense.