Friday Nwosu

A contestant in the Peoples Democratic Party December 8, 2014 governorship primaries in Abia State, Friday Nwosu, yesterday, lost his bid to stop the election of the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu as the Supreme Court upheld the election of the governor.

The apex court, penalised Nwosu for filing what the court considered a frivolous appeal. The Supreme Court, in a judgment on Friday, awarded N4million as penalty against Nwosu and in favour of the four respondents in the appeal. Nwosu, by the judgment, is to pay each of the respondents N1m as cost. Nwosu had, in his appeal marked: SC/693/17, challenged the judgment of the Court of Appeal, in which it was held that Okezie Ikpeazu was qualified to contest the 2015 governorship election in Abia State.

Justice Amina Augie, in the lead judgment, upheld Ikpeazu’s election and dismissed Nwosu’s appeal. The lead judgment was read on behalf of Justice Augie by Justice Sidi Bage. Nwosu, who contested the December 8, 2014 governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but lost to Ikpeazu, sued at the Federal High Court, accusing Ikpeazu of submitting false information and fake tax documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Yesterday, Justice Bage, while reading Justice Augie’s judgment, said: “The appellant contested the party’s primary and lost to the 3rd respondent (Ikpeazu) and instituted a number of suits in the various divisions of the Federal High Court, challenging the outcome of the primary. “The appellant’s suit was initially filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja. It was transferred to the Federal High Court Umuahia and it was again, transferred to the Federal High Court, Owerri.

“This is court affirm the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which set aside the disqualification of the 3rd respondent.

“It upheld his victory at the primary and his ultimate election as the Executive Governor of Abia State. “The 3rd objection is upheld and the appeal is hereby dismissed.

The appellant is ordered to pay cost at N1m to each one of the four respondents.” Justices Mary Peter Odili, Amiru Sanusi, Bode Rhodes-Vivour and Bage, who were on the panel, agreed with the lead judgment and the consequential orders made.

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