Court upholds Okorocha’s victory

Ohakim had gone to court seeking to upturn the decision of the Court of Appeal, which affirmed the Election Petitions Tribunals’ dismissal of his petition against Okorocha’s victory at the election. Ohakim had told the court through his Counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) that he won the election by a margin of 4,852 votes.

But Okorocha’s Counsel, Niyi Akintola (SAN) and Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Alex Iziyon (SAN) opposed the appellant’s submissions, and urged the court to dismiss the appeal.

Delivering the lead judgment, Justice Sylvester Nguta said the Court of Appeal failed to comply with Section 285 (7) of the Constitution which requires the court to hear and dispose of the appeal within 60 days, when it gave reasons for its judgment after 73 days. The Tribunal delivered its judgment on November 11 2011 and the Appeals Court delivered its on January 6 2012 but gave its reasons on January 24 2012 which is outside the 60 days stipulated by the Constitution.

In striking out the appeal, the court held that the judgment of the Imo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which earlier upheld Okorocha’s election subsisted.

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