A Federal High Court sitting on Tuesday in Abuja sacked Okey Ezeh as governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Imo state.
Justice Tijjani Ringim ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the SDP to replace Ezeh’s name with that of Mr Casmir Anyanwu.
Casmir Anyanwu had gone to court to contest the candidacy of Okey Ezeh for the March 9 governorship election, arguing that he was the legitimate governorship candidate of the SDP in the state.
He had argued that he emerged winner of the party’s primary election which held on Oct. 6, 2018.
As stated by him, he had polled 855 votes out of 1,409 cast to defeat other aspirants.
Anyanwu also affirmed that Ezeh did not participate in the primary election, being a member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) as at the said date.
But, Justice Tijjani Ringim delivering the judgement held that the SDP had conducted primary elections on the said date.
The judge also held that in line with Section 133(2) of the Evidence Act, the plaintiff was the winner of the said election.
Ringim said evidence available to the court proved that Ezeh was not a member of the SDP as at Oct. 6, 2018 and could not have participated in the election.
He further ordered SDP, to replace Ezeh’s name with that of the plaintiff and to submit same to the INEC, in line with Section 87(4b) of the constitution.
Mr S. A. Anyalewechi, Counsel to the plaintiff, reacting to the judgement, expressed satisfaction with the judgment, adding that it was a vindication of Nigeria’s democracy.
Mr Kemdirim Ebere, Counsel to Ezeh, reaching to the judgement, expressed his belief in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man, adding that his client might appeal the decision after further deliberation.