Ahead of Imo State’s November 11 governorship election, the Apex Court on Thursday declared Senator Athan Achonu the legitimate candidate of the Labour Party.
The 70-year-old, who lost an arm in a car crash in 1970, could become Nigeria’s first physically challenged governor if he wins the elections.
Following the primary election of the Labour Party, one of its governorship candidates Basil Maduka challenged the legitimacy of Achonu’s candidature at the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal, but the Supreme Court dismissed the case on Thursday, ruling that it lacked the right to do so.
The five-judge panel of the Supreme Court also accused Maduka of abusing court proceedings and wasting the courts’ time throughout the process.
The Labour Party and INEC were two other defendants in the case, as well as the Lamidi Apapa-led faction’s candidate, Ikenga.
Speaking to journalists soon after the judgment was delivered, Labour Party counsel, Barrister Olawale Akinsanya, declared that the controversy surrounding Achonu’s candidature was over.
Akinsanya said that Basil Maduka’s and Ikenga’s attempts to deceive Imolites had ended with the Supreme Court. “Today was the end of their attempts to deceive and deceive Imolites,” he said, “after they were exposed and their lies fell flat before the eyes of the nation’s highest court.
“Basil’s counsel, with his hands tied, immediately dropped his appeal that sought to give credence to Ikenga’s sham, unopposed primaries.”