Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital yesterday set aside the judgement of Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Division which nullified the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries of 28th and 29th May, 2022 in the state.
The primaries produced Dr Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii and other candidates of the party.
Justice Nyako had on December 8, 2022, nullified the primaries and directed the party to conduct a fresh primary within 14 days.
Nyako’s judgement followed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1319/2021 by Mr. Okoroafor Tochukwu Okorie against the PDP and INEC.
Justice Nyako in her ruling agreed with the counsel to Mr. Okorie that the 28th and 29th PDP primaries that produced Chief Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii and other PDP candidates were conducted in flagrant disobedience of the order of the Court of Appeal.
Not satisfied with Justice Nyako’s judgement, the PDP had filed a motion to set aside the judgement on the ground that it was obtained by fraud.
The matter with Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1696/2022 was subsequently transferred by Chief Justice of the Federal High Court to the Abakaliki division of the court following Justice Nyako’s recusal from the matter, over allegation of being biased.
Delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Fatun Riman of the Abakaliki division of the Court, agreed with the counsel to the PDP, Barrister Michael Inya Igbo, that the judgement by the Abuja division nullifying the 28th and 29th PDP primaries in Ebonyi State was obtained by trick by the plaintiff, Mr Okorie, and consequently set it aside.
The court also agreed with the PDP counsel that if Justice Nyako was made to be aware of the facts and circumstances of the matter, she wouldn’t had given the judgement in the first place.
The court agreed with Barrister Inya Igbo that once a Supreme Court has made a pronouncement on an issue, you cannot by any trick bring back the matter again to a lower court for adjudication.
Addressing journalists after the court judgement, Barrister Igbo said that the party had filed a motion to set aside the judgement of Justice Binta Nyako on the ground that it was obtained by fraud.
“Yesterday, we argued and the Court in its Wisdom agreed with us that once a Supreme Court has made a pronouncement on an issue, you cannot by any trick bring back the matter again to a lower court for adjudication”.
On the implication of the judgement, Barr. Igbo maintained that the primaries conducted by the PDP in Ebonyi on the 28th and 29th of May, 2022, are valid and subsisting. “With the recent judgement, Chief Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii and other candidates who emerged from those primaries are the valid candidates of the PDP in the 2023 general elections,” he said.