Court strikes out criminal summon against CUPP spokesperson, Ugochinyere
A Magistrate Court in Abuja has struck a criminal proceeding instituted by Special Assistant (Special Duties) to Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Chinasa Nwaneri, against the spokesperson of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) Ikenga Ugochinyere.
The allegations contained in the summons bordered on the revelation of alleged fraud by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the voter register in 18 States including Imo state by Ugochinyere.
Justice M. A Hassan of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, had suspended further proceedings on the matter pending the hearing of the application for judicial review filed by Ugochinyere.
The judge had granted leave to the applicant by way of 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 Chinasa Nwaneri v Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu, case No. WZ6/CR/30/2022, or on any facts constituting the same subject matter as that case.
He also granted an order of injunction restraining each of the respondents by themselves, jointly or through agents, in respect of any matter whose subject matter constitutes the same as the case.
Relying on the above orders of the FCT High Court, Magistrate Umah Isa Dodo agreed that the impact of the order of the High Court was that he should stay proceedings went further to also raise jurisdiction issues and resolved that his Court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The certified true copy of the judgment dated January 23, 2023, was obtained by The Guardian on Wednesday.
The Magistrate had earlier threatened to order the arrest of Ugochinyere if he did not appear before him before he was served with the processes pending at the High Court, which warranted the trial’s suspension.
Efforts by J. C. Nwosu, counsel to Nwaneri to persuade the Magistrate Court to proceed with the hearing of the case was vehemently opposed by counsel to Ikenga.
They argued that the lawful thing for the Magistrate Court to do was to obey the pendency of the matter in the High Court and stop its own hearing.
The counsels to Ikenga maintained that the case was provocative and an audacious move by the Imo State Government to silence the opposition spokesperson who revealed the massive voter register manipulation.
The manipulation they said included importing photos that obviously do not belong to eligible voters into the register in order to use them as voters in the 2023 election.