Raphael Ede, Enugu
Appeal Court sitting in Enugu has dismissed an appeal seeking to upturned the victory of Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, as the candidate of People’s Democratic Party for Enugu East Senatorial district for lack of merit.
The court held that the appeal was an academic exercise since the respondent (Senator Nnamani) had been elected and sworn in as a senator representing Enugu East senatorial district at the National Assembly.
Senator Gilbert Nnaji had, after failing at the Federal High Court, Enugu to disqualified Senator Nnamani, appealed the judgment, claiming that he was not given fair hearing by the lower court.
But the Appeal Court in a unanimous judgement delivered by a three-man Justices led by Hon Justice C.E Iyizoba JCA, upheld the judgment of the lower court, delivered by Justice Ibrahim Buba, which had on April 5, dismissed Senator Nnaji’s suit for lack-in-merit.
Both Justices Bolaji Yusuf, and Ibrahim A. Andenyangtso JCA, concurred with the judgment, although Justice Yusuf was not around, Justice Iyizoba said he concurred.
The court said that the suit was filed outside the 14-day period allowed by law, as the date of occurrence of the event was September 15 while the suit was filed on October 8, 2018.
It upheld the decision of the trial court that the case was statute barred.
Justice Iyizoba, who read the judgement said “the inevitable conclusion is that the appeal lacks merit, proof, is speculative and is hereby dismissed.”
The court held that even considering the merits of the case, Nnaji “defaulted in his undertaking to abide by the decision of the party before the primary election. He cannot rescind from his decision.”
While also declaring that Nnaji had no footing on which to allege lack of fair hearing, he said “the action of the applicant is unpardonable.
“Having resolved all the three issues for determination in favour of the respondents, I hold that this application is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed,” the court held.