The Peoples Democratic Party House of Representatives candidate, Ikenga Ugochinyere has gotten the legal protection he sough ahead of Saturday’s election as an Abuja High Court has restrained Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State from arresting him (Ikenga).
Cited as 1st to 7th Respondents in the suit marked: FCT/HC/GWD/CV/41/ 2023, are; Governor Uzodinma, the State Security Services, NPF, the IGP, DIG of Police in charge of the Federal Investigation & Intelligence Bureau, the Commissioner of Police in Imo state, as well as the Ebubeagu Security Network.
In his suit before the court, the PDP candidate alleged a plot to arrest and frame him with trumped-up charges.
He further alleged that aside from planning to use security agencies against him, the Imo state government, if not restrained by the court, would unleash members of the Ebubeagu Security outfit on him; Ugochinyere, also averred that his life was in danger.
Justice Adepoju approved substituted service of the court order and other processes in the matter on governor Uzodinma and other Respondents.
The court directed the service of the court processes on the governor through the Imo state liaison office in Abuja.
It equally held that the Inspector-General of Police should be served through the legal department of the Nigeria Police Force.
Ugochinyere, the spokesperson of the Coalition of United Political Parties, had raised concern over what he termed as heavy manipulation of voter registers in Imo state, especially at Omuma.
According to the CUPP spokesperson, the alleged fraud included the importation of photos into the voters’ register.
He alleged that the photos do not belong to eligible electorates in the state and that the Voters Registration in Omuma, the home Ward of governor Uzodinma, was inflated with fictitious names.
The allegations were however denied by the Imo state government.
Shortly after Ugochinyere made the allegations, his home was raided by gunmen that burnt his campaign vehicles.
In his ruling after he had listened to the application, Justice Adepoju issued the restraining order.
Specifically, the court, among other things, held: “The 1st Respondent (Governor of lmo State) is hereby restrained and barred together with the 2nd to 7th Respondents, whether by themselves, agents, departments, officers or together with any Security agencies or authorities, from framing up or charging the Applicant with any trumped-up charges or allegation of commission of offences of treasonable felony, terrorism, murder, arson, kidnapping and other threats to national security or any other offence whatsoever pending the hearing and determination of the substantive Originating Motion on Notice.
“The Court hereby set aside any charge filed or preferred against the Applicant or remand order made or obtained against the Applicant by 1st Respondent(Governor of lmo State)”, the court further held.
The substantive suit was adjourned till March 1 for a hearing.