The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri which had earlier reinstated Okey Ezeh as the authentic Imo state governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the last general elections.
The court also ruled that the order for retrial given by the Court of Appeal has been overtaken by time, which is the expiration of the 180 days for trial at first instance.
Mr. Casmir Anynwu, a former member of the SDP, had approached the apex court urging it to set aside the verdict of the Court of Appeal which validated the nomination of Okey Ezeh as Imo state governorship candidate of the SDP.
Delivering judgment, however, Justice of the Supreme Court, Honorable Mary Peter-Odili insisted that, “What cannot be denied is the Court of Appeal’s right well within 60 days granted it by the Constitutional provisions of section 285 (12) to consider all the issues before it on appeal which it did and making the finding that the fair hearing rights of the first respondent had been breached set aside the judgment of the trial court.
“That being so, the decision and reliefs given by the trial court to the appellant remain vacated. The further order for retrial as said earlier is an order overtaken by event, simply the expiration of the 180 days for trial at first instance and so would take the status of a muted trumpet.
“Finally, this appeal has no merit and is dismissed based on the foregoing and the better reasoned judgment,” the court ruled.
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee of the SDP has since ratified the expulsion of Mr. Casmir Anyanwu from the party. In a letter signed by the National Secretary of the party, Alh. Shehu Musa Gabam, and dated March 1, 2019, the party regretted that Anyanwu has continued to engage in further anti-party activities, disloyalty and divisive conduct which have greatly undermined the interest, goodwill and image of the party in Imo State.
“The National Working Committee of the party has seriously considered your conduct and has deemed same as totally unacceptable to the party. In view of this, the National Working Committee has approved your expulsion from the party with effect from March 1, 2019,” the letter reads.
By Emma Onyekwere, Abuja