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A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, on Wednesday, granted the request by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to withdraw a suit it had instituted against Ebonyi State governor, Francis Nwifuru, challenging his nomination as governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 general elections.
PDP, in suit No. FHC/AI/CS/7/2023 challenged the validity of the nomination of Nwifuru by APC on the ground that he was, at the time, a member of the party and couldn’t have been nominated by APC as its 2023 governorship candidate.
The Eastern Updates gathered that earlier, the court presided over by Justice Fatun Riman struck out the case on February 14, 2023, on the ground that it was statute-barred following a notice of preliminary objection filed against the suit by the first and second defendants, Francis Nwifuru and the APC, respectively.
Dissatisfied by the court’s decision, PDP, through its counsel, Chief Mudi Erhenede, on May 15, 2023, asked the court to set aside its judgment delivered FHC/AI/CS/7/2023 on February 14, 2023, on the ground that the plaintiff was not served with the preliminary objection filed by the defendants that led to the dismissal of the case.
Erhenede argued that hearing the notice of preliminary objection by the court without being served has denied the plaintiff a fair hearing, hence the motion before the court to set aside the said ruling.
Delivering his judgement on Thursday, June 22, 2023, Justice Hyeladzira Ajiya Nganjiwa nullified the judgement, saying it was done without jurisdiction, and declared it null and void.
Among other orders, Justice Nganjiwa also directed that the case be relisted on the court’s case list for a fresh trial.