The Supreme Court has upheld the candidature of a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Charles Soludo as the flag brearer of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the November 6, governorship election in Anambra State.
A five-member panel of the apex court, led by Justice Mary Odili, was unanimous in holding that the appeal filed by the Jude Okeke-factional leadership of APGA was without merit and proceeded to dismiss it.
The court held that the issue of party leadership and the election of party’s officials were internal affairs of a political party over which courts lacked jurisdiction.
Odili, in the lead judgment, returned Victor Oye as APGA’ National Chairman and upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Kano, which earlier affirmed Oye’s leadership and dismissed the suit by Okeke.
She agreed with the respondents that the election of political parties’ officers was an internal affair of the respective parties and cannot be challenged in court.
The apex court held that the appellants abused the process of a court by engaging in forum shopping and proceeded to award N1million cost against the appellants, to be paid to APGA and Oye.
The court took a swipe at Okeke and some lawyers in the case for attempting to mislead the court by filing multiple cases in respect of the same subject matter.
Justice Odili noted that the appellants, in a desperate bid to abuse the court’s process, moved their cases from Anambra states to Imo State and later to Jigawa State where they eventually got a judgment in their favour on March 31, 2021.
The judgment by the Jigawa High Court was later set aside by the Court of Appeal, Kano on the grounds that the Jigawa High Court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to hear the suit.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja, in a judgment on September 9 this year, dismissed a similar appeal by the Okeke faction and upheld the judgment by its Kano division.