A Federal High Court sitting in Owerri on Tuesday sacked Mr Okey Ezeh as governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Imo.
The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the SDP to replace Ezeh’s name with that of Mr Casmir Anyanwu.
Anyanwu had gone to court to contest the candidacy of Mr 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.
According to him, he had polled 855 votes out of 1,409 cast to defeat other aspirants.
He claimed that Ezeh did not participate in the primary election, being a member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) as at the said date.
Delivering judgment, Justice Tijjani Ringim, held that the SDP had conducted primary elections on the said date.
Ringim also held that in line with Section 133(2) of the Evidence Act, the plaintiff was the winner of the said election.
He 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.
Ringim 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.
Reacting to the judgment, Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr S. A. Anyalewechi, expressed satisfaction with the judgment, adding that it was a vindication of Nigeria’s democracy.
Also reacting, Mr Kemdirim Ebere, Counsel to Ezeh, 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.