The plaintiffs, Adindu Valentine and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, had in their suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/711/2021, alleged that Soludo lied in the affidavit (Form EC9), which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In the suit which named the INEC, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Soludo and Ibezim as defendants, the plaintiffs claimed that the governor-elect and his running mate had filled in different elective positions in their nomination forms.
The parties claimed Soludo stated that he was contesting the Aguata II Constituency seat, while Ibezim stated that he was contending for the Awka II Constituency seat in the forms they submitted to INEC.
Delivering his judgement on Wednesday, December 1, Justice Taiwo Taiwo dismissed suit seeking to nullify Soludo and Ibezim’s election on the allegation that they presented false information to the INEC.
The judge who described the suit as frivolous, irritating, and lacking in merit awarded a punitive cost of N2 million against the two plaintiffs, in favour of the APGA, Soludo and Ibezim.
Justice Taiwo said, “I have carefully perused form EC9 for the third defendant (Soludo) and I can see that the third defendant marked that he was contesting the position of governor.”
“He stated his constituency in the affidavits in support of the particulars. He also clearly stated that he was contesting the post of governor, his constituency is Aguata 2 Anambra and the name of his political party. All other information as to his person is also in his affidavits which were deposed to on the 1st of July 2020.
“I see that the fourth defendant marked the post he was contesting for and also stated same in the affidavits in support of his particulars for that office.
“The question is, how is it brought to the plaintiffs that the third and fourth defendants are not contesting for the governorship and deputy governorship election in Anambra state. Were there other elections held in Anambra state for which the 1st defendant had called for elections? How has the plaintiff been misled by the information contained in the affidavits of personal particulars?
“The plaintiffs have failed woefully to convince the court that the second, third and fourth defendants supplied false information to the 1st defendant which they knowingly accepted.
“I am yet to come to terms with the purpose this suit if I must say is meant to serve. The rule of law must not be abused and the rule of law must not be used as an instrument to choke democracy from breathing freely.
“The case of the plaintiffs must fail and I pronounce same as failed. The issues for determination are resolved against the plaintiffs and the reliefs being sought are totally rejected. This suit is not necessary and it has wasted the time of this court.”
The court also awarded N2 million against the plaintiffs in favour of the second, third and fourth defendants.
This comes a few weeks after the INEC issued certificate of return to Anambra Governor-elect, Charles Soludo and his deputy, Onyeka Ibezim.