Court Strikes out Uzodinma’s Aide’s Suit against CUPP’s Spokesman 

Alex Enumah in Abuja 

Justice Umah Dodo of an Abuja Magistrate’s Court has struck out a suit by an aide to Governor Hope Uzodinma, Chinaza Nwaneri, against the spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Ikenga Ugochinyere.

The magistrate, in a ruling, struck out the case in deference to the ruling of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and for also want of jurisdiction.

Nwaneri had last December initiated a criminal proceedings against Ugochinyere over an alarm the CUPP’s spokesman raised on alleged manipulation of voter register in 18 states including Imo State by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Magistrate Dodo had, in an earlier ruling, threatened to arrest Ugochinyere if he failed to appear before the court in respect of the case filed by Nwaneri.

However, in a short ruling on January 23, the judge while agreeing that the impact of the order of the High Court was that he should stay proceedings, went further to also raise the issue of jurisdiction and resolved that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the matter. 

Upon holding that it lacked the necessary jurisdiction, the magistrate went ahead to strike out the matter. 

Justice M.A. Hassan of a High Court in Garki, Abuja, had last December issued a restraining order and stay of the proceedings of the magistrate court pending the hearing of the application for judicial review filed by Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere.

Ugochinyere had sought an order for certiorari including an order of prohibition directed against the respondents by themselves or acting jointly or through agents, prohibiting them from conducting any hearing or further proceedings against the applicant in the matter of Nze Chinaza Nwaneri V. Mr. Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu – Case No. WZ6/CR/30/2022 or on any facts constituting the same subject matter as that case and an order of injunction restraining each of the respondents by themselves, jointly or through agents, from further prosecuting the applicant in the matter of Nze Chinaza Nwaneri V. Mr. Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu or in respect of any matter whose subject matter constitutes the same as the case.

Besides, the CUPP’s spokesman is also asking for an award of N50 million only against the respondents jointly and severally as general damages for the unlawful prosecution, humiliation and embarrassment caused the applicant and his business.   

There has been series of actions in recent times allegedly aimed at silencing the opposition’s spokesperson since he made revelations about the voter register compromise popularly referred to as Omuma Magic wherein it was discovered that millions of fake registrations took place in at least 18 states of the federation. 

INEC has since deleted millions of such fake registrations and about 13 of its staff involved are undergoing disciplinary proceedings.

Only recently, there was also an attack on Ugochinyere’s native home where one person was killed and property worth millions of naira was destroyed.

Ugochinyere is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contesting the ticket of House of Representatives in Imo State.

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