The Supreme Court, on Friday dismissed the judgement that nullified the candidacy of Frank Ibezim in the Dec. 5, 2020 Imo North Senatorial by-election.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, while delivering a unanimous judgment ruled that Ibezim is the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the December 5 Imo North Senatorial Election, on the grounds that the suit which led to Ibezim’s disqualification for allegedly supplying false information to secure nomination was statute barred at the time it was instituted.
Justice Agim, in his ruling, set aside the concurrent judgments of the Abuja Federal High Court and Court of Appeal that disqualified Ibezim as the authentic candidate of the APC.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja had disqualified Ibezim as the candidate of the APC in the by-election over allegations of false declaration in the documents submitted to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ekwo ruled that the affidavit and documents submitted by Ibezim were falsified, with uncertified photocopies of his West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate.
According to the judge, the documents bear two different names; Ibezim Chukwuma Frank, while the other was Ibezim Francis Chukwuma.
Similarly, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on March 18, had declared Ifeanyi Ararume as the authentic candidate of the APC in the bye-election.
Ararume who also contested for APC primary election, through his counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN) had filed a suit challenging the candidacy of Ibezim.
Ararume argued that Ibezim was not qualified to be the APC’s flagbearer.
Justice Taiwo in his ruling upheld the arguments of Ararume, and also ordered INEC to issue him the certificate of return.
However, Ibezim, who was dissatisfied with the judgement filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, leading to the nullification and setting aside of the concurrent judgments of the Abuja Federal High Court and Court of Appeal that had earlier nullified the candidacy of Ibezim.