Ortom, the former governor of Benue, was not removed from office due to his defection, as the APC had sought, but the court rejected their case

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The Federal High Court in Abuja’s Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo has rejected the All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s motion to remove former Benue State governor Samuel Ortom from office due to his departure from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The judge ruled on Monday that the case was now pointless and academic, and that the APC would reap no benefits from continuing with it.

And the judge made it clear that the court cannot grant the APC’s requested extension of the disputed tenure.

According to Justice Ekwo, Ortom had already spent the term that the APC was hoping to use to end the lawsuit.

After Ortom defected to the PDP, the APC took him, INEC, the PDP, and the court to court, pleading for Ortom’s removal from office.

In the 2019 gubernatorial election in Benue State, the APC claimed victory with 422,932 valid votes, while the PDP received 313,878 votes, placing second.

The party requested that the judge rule that PDP was not legitimately elected in 2019 because Ortom could not legally transfer its votes to them, citing clauses 1, 177, and 179 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 97 of the Electoral Act of 2010.

Justice Ekwo ruled that the cause of action ended on the day the previous governor’s term ended in the lawsuit with the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/458/2022.

He threw out the case because, as he pointed out, it had no future and was hence without merit.

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