The Supreme Court has declared Ikechukwu Joseph Ukaegbu, popularly known as Ikenga, as the authentic Labour Party (LP) Gubernatorial Candidate in the 2023 Governorship Election in Imo State.
In a statement by the Labour party National Youth Leader, Eragbe Anslem, the Supreme Court delivered the judgment on Monday. As per the statement, the information contained in the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Supreme Court Judgement is anticipated to be disclosed to the public within a span of 48 hours.
According to Anslem, the Supreme Court judgment has settled issues of the authentic candidature, rocking the Labour Party, ahead of the November 11th Gubernatorial elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa States.
“That the Supreme Court in it’s Judgement of Monday 11th September, 2023 has finally put to rest the issues of the authentic candidates for the Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States 11th November, 2023 off-season gubernatorial election and the matter of who is the authentic National Chairmanship of the Labour Party LP; with Alhaji Lamidi Basiru Apapa as the Acting National Chairman of Labour Party LP in Nigeria,” the statement read.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that Top Society previously stated that Senator Athan Nneji Achonu, the gubernatorial candidate for the Labour Party, is a disputed candidate who had been removed by the court. Nevertheless, he garnered the support and endorsement of Peter Obi.
Basil Maduka, a party member, had filed a petition with a Federal High Court in Yenagoa, urging the court to substitute Achonu with Chief Joseph Ukaegbu, another party member. However, on June 23, the Court, under the guidance of Justice B.O. Quadri, rejected the suit citing insufficient grounds and concluded that the matter was beyond its jurisdiction.
The Imo State governorship election set for November 11, 2023.
Anslem further called the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to effect changes to the names on their portal.
“That by this Supreme Court Judgement affirming Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu Joseph (Ikenga) as the Authentic Labour Party LP candidate in Imo state, INEC shall be required to give the PORTAL CODES to Alhaji Lamidi Basiru Apapa to upload the names of the Gubernatorial Candidates for Bayelsa, Imo And Kogi States respectively.”
He also requested the commission to then eliminate the names of individuals who had been dismissed by the court and replace them as needed.
“That this Supreme Court Judgement shall give immediate force for the immediate removal from the INEC website the names of Barr Julius Abure, Umar Farouk Ibrahim, Ojukwu Clement and Mrs Oluchi Opara and to upload the names of Alhaji Lamidi Basiru Apapa, as Acting National Chairman; Alhaji Saleh Lawan as Acting National Secretary and other members of the Alhaji Lamidi Basiru Apapa led National Working Committee (NWC).”
An Appeal Court sitting in Abuja, had earlier in August, struck out the petition filed Maduka for lacking merit. The September 11 judgment by the Supreme Court reinforces the August 24 judgement.