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July 25, 2024

Court dismisses APC suit seeking sack of ex-Benue gov, Ortom over defection

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, seeking the removal of former Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, from office on account of his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The judge on Monday in a judgment held that the suit had become academic, exercise in futility and can no longer confer any benefits on the APC.

Besides, the judge said that the court has no power to extend the tenure in dispute to accommodate the request of the APC.

Justice Ekwo said that the tenure being eyed by the APC had been spent by Ortom before the case could be concluded.

The APC had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, PDP and Ortom before the court praying that Ortom be kicked out of office on account of his defection to the PDP.

APC asserted that it canvassed for votes and won the majority of lawful votes of 422,932 as against the PDP which scored 313, 878 to come second, in the 2019 governorship election in Benue State.

The party asked the judge to invoke sections 1, 177 and 179 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 97 of the Electoral Act 2010 to hold that Ortom cannot transfer its lawful votes to PDP, thereby making PDP to unlawfully become the winner of the 2019 poll.

However in his judgment in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/458/2022, Justice Ekwo held that the cause of action had ceased from the day the former governor completed the tenure of office.

He dismissed the suit, noting that it no longer has life to sustain it and therefore lacked merit.

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