Imo North: Supreme Court Affirms Ibezim As Senator-Elect

  • Ibezim had been kicked out as APC candidate on account of irreconcilable differences in the names on the certificates he presented to secure nomination and for supplying false information in his other documents.

The Supreme Court on Friday declared Frank Ibezim of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the Senator-elect for the Imo North Senatorial district bye-election.

The determination by the apex court will put to rest the lingering legal fireworks on the subject matter.

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In arriving at it’s decision, the apex court in a unanimous judgment voided, nullified and set aside the concurrent judgments of the Federal high court in Abuja and that of the Court of Appeal which nullified the candidacy of Ibezim on the ground of perjury.

Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered the judgment, held that the suit which led to disqualification of Ibezim for allegedly supplying false information to secure nomination was statute barred at the time it was instituted.

Justice Agim said in the judgment that the suit was not filed within 14 days when the cause of action arose.

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Specifically, the apex court held that section 285 of the 1999 was grossly violated by the plaintiff in the suit because the mandatory 14 days for such suit to be filed was not complied with.

Besides, the apex court held that the disqualification of Ibezim based on a statute barred suit was a nullity because the burden of proof for false information allegations was not proved as required by law.

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Justice Agim while setting aside the judgments of both the federal high court and that of the Court of Appeal held that the appeal of Ibezim against the two judgments was meritorious, enforceable and granted it.

The Supreme Court subsequently declared Ibezim as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the December 5, 2020 by-election and also as winner of the election.

A three man panel of Justices of the Court presided by Justice Abubakar Yahaya in a unanimous judgment had agreed with Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja that Ibezim submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the Imo North Senatorial by-election.

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