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Abia Governorship Candidacy: Appeal Court keeps APC waiting

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Court of Appeal Court of Appeal

By Martins Odeh

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday reserved judgment in the decision of the FCT High Court to uphold Chief Ikechi Emenike as Governorship Candidate for the All progressives Congress (APC) in Abia.

Justice Abubakar Yahaya reserved the appellate court’s decision after Counsel to parties had adopted their addresses.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, who contested the Oct.2, 2018 governorship primary election along Emenike had approached the court with the appeal.

The APC and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were the other respondents in the appeal.

Earlier, the court had dismissed an interlocutory application seeking the setting aside of the Jan.24 ruling of the court which granted leave to the appellant to file the appeal.

Mr N.A Nnawuchi (SAN) had filed the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to grant the leave after the expiration of the 14 days required by law.

Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN), Counsel to Ogah raised objection on Nnawuchi submission, adding that his client’s Notice of Appeal was filed within the period specified by the Constitution.

He therefore urged that court to dismiss the application for lacking in merit.

Yahaya held that the application was incompetent because it was not accompanied by the Jan.24 record of the court.

NAN reports that the dismissal of the application set the stage for the adoption of addresses on the main appeal.

The appellant had raised three issues for determination including whether the FCT High Court had territorial jurisdiction to hear the suit.

Ogah also prayed the court to decide whether the court was right when it dismissed his application to be joined in the suit.

Emenike had through his counsel raised objections on the argument canvassed by the appellant, adding that he (Ogah) out rightly failed to give attention to the suit at the trial court.

Nnawuchi therefore urged the court to dismiss appeal and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

In his statement of facts, the appellant claimed that he won the Direct Primaries Election conducted on Oct.2, 2018, by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party observed by INEC.

The appellant claimed his name was forwarded by APC to INEC as its candidate at the forthcoming governorship election in Abia State.

He further claimed that the first respondent (Emenike) took part in the primaries but lost.

NAN recalls that Emenike, aggrieved by the outcome of the primaries approached the court on Oct.22, 2018.

Ogah however, averred that he became aware of the pendency of the suit on Nov.14, 2018, 23days after hearing in the suit had commenced.

The appellant further averred that he had on Nov.15, 2018 filed an application to be joined.

He said his application dismissed and judgment entered in Emenike’s favour without fair hearing.

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