2023: Appeal Court rejects application to reinstate Al-Mustapha, others as AA candidates


Hamza Al-Mustapha, the presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), and others were on Thursday rejected as candidates of the party in this year’s elections by the Court of Appeal, Abuja.


The sacked National Chairman of the Action Alliance (AA), Chief Kenneth Udeze, had asked the court to reserve the nullification of Al-Mustapha and others’ candidacies.


Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, who headed the three-member panel of the appellate court, explained in a ruling that the appeal was defective and incompetent.


Al-Mustapha, the former aide to late Gen. Sani Abacha, had, in a presidential primary election conducted by Chief Kenneth Udeze’s faction, won the election with a total of 506 votes and defeated Samson Odupitan, his only opponent, in Abuja on June 9, 2022.


According to Justice Dongban-Mensem, Udeze was wrong to have initiated the appeal in the name of the AA and also listed the party as a respondent in the lead ruling, saying that the AA could not be an appellant and a respondent in the same appeal.


Udeze sought to void the December 22, 2022, ruling of the Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja in a ruling the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/PRE/ROA/CV/1472MI/2022.


Chief Udeze’s application to set aside the court’s Nov. 4, 2022 judgement recognising the candidates produced by the Dr Adekunle Rufai Omo-Aje leadership of the party was dismissed by Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Abuja FHC.


The suspension and expulsion of Udeze as the AA chairman had been upheld in two judgments of the Court of Appeal; he had applied to the Federal High Court, Abuja, to set aside the Nov. 4 judgment, claiming it was obtained by fraud, saying that he was still the party’s national chairman.


The court had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to accept the list of candidates submitted to it by the Omo-Aje leadership of the AA and to discountenance the candidates submitted by Udeze, which Al-Mustpha was a presidential candidate on the judgment delivered on 4th November 2022 by Justice Abubakar.

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