The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Thursday, reserved judgement in an appeal filed by a sacked senator, Ifeanyi Ubah, of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), asking it to set aside a judgement that sacked him as a lawmaker.
A three-member of the appellate court led by Justice Stephen Adah had reserved judgement in the appeal after parties in the matter adopted their written addresses.
The court said the date for the judgment in the appeal will be communicated to the lawyers.
While adopting their addresses, the lawmaker’s lawyer, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, urged the court to allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the lower court, which sacked his client as senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
The respondents, Anani Chuka, YPP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Obinna Uzoh, through their lawyers, while adopting their written addresses, urged the court to dismiss the appeal in its entirety.
Justice Bello Kawu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court in Kubwa, Abuja, had on January 17, nullified the election of Mr Ubah as the senator representing Anambra south.
In the judgement on January 17, the court also ordered the INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Mr Ubah and to issue a fresh certificate to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Uzoh – who came second in the election, as the senator-elect of the district.
Not satisfied with the lower court’s decision, Mr Ubah approached the appellate court to set aside the judgement which he insisted was a grave miscarriage of justice against him.
In the appeal predicated on four grounds, the lawmaker insisted that he was denied fair hearing by the trial court.
He added that he was neither served with the originating processes nor hearing notice with respect to the suit that led to his sack from the senate.
Mr Ubah further argued that the FCT high court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to hear and determine a pre-election matter that arose from an election that held in Anambra State.
However, in his further affidavit in support of his motion on notice filed on March 6, the lawmaker is asking the appellate court to set aside the judgment of Justice Kawu, on the grounds that the entire proceedings and the judgment emanating from there are incompetent being a nullity.
According to him, the proceedings amount to a nullity on the grounds that, “As at the time the judgment in the suit number: FCT/HC/CV/3044/2018 was purportedly delivered, the suit had not been filed as filing fees had not been paid.
“That as at the date of filing of this action the appellant/ applicant had been duly elected as the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District and his election has been affirmed on September 9, 2019, by the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra State.
“That having regard to the date of payment of filing fees, suit numbered: FCT/HC/CV/3044/2018 was a post-election matter and the lower court had no jurisdiction to entertain same.
“That by the above, the suit, the entire proceedings and the judgment emanating therefrom are manifestly incompetent being a nullity.”
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