The Supreme Court yesterday affirmed Frank Ibezim as the senator-elect for Imo North Senatorial district bye-election. The apex court however voided, nullified and set aside the concurrent judgements of the Federal High Court in Abuja and that of the Court of Appeal also in Abuja, which nullified the candidacy of Ibezim on the grounds of perjury. In a unanimous judgement by the Supreme Court delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, it was held that the suit, which led to disqualification of Ibezim for allegedly supplying false information to secure nomination was statute barred at the time it was instituted.
Justice Agim said in the judgement that the suit was not filed within 14 days when the cause of action arose. Specifically, the apex court held that section 285 of the 1999 was grossly violated by the plaintiff in the suit because the mandatory 14 days for such suit to be filed was not complied with. Besides, the apex court held that the disqualification of Ibezim based on a statute barred suit was a nullity because the burden of proof for false information allegations was not proved as required by law. Justice Agim, while setting aside the judgements of both the federal high court and that of the Court of Appeal held that the appeal of Ibezim against the two judgements was meritorious, enforceable and granted it. The Supreme Court subsequently declared Ibezim as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the December 5, 2020 by-election and also as winner of the election.