Friday 3 November 2023

Appeal Court Reverses Tribunal Decisions, affirms LP's Ogah, Nnamchi


The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has upturned the unanimous decision of the tribunal and affirmed Amobi Godwin Ogah as Reps member representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on February 27, declared Labour Party's Ogah winner with 11769 votes against former Deputy Chief Whip who was gunning for a fifth consecutive term, Nkeiruka Chidubem Onyejeocha (APC) scoring 8752 votes.

Dissatisfied with the results, Onyejeocha and the APC on 17th March, approached the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, seeking amongst others; the disqualification of Ogah and his Party having not complied with provisions of the Electoral Act and having not scored majority of lawful votes to be so declared. 

INEC, Ogah & LP were listed as 1st, 2nd & 3rd Respondents respectively.

In a September 6 judgement, the tribunal in Suit No: EPT/AB/HR/8/2023, held that:

How a candidate is Sponsored by a political party is both pre and post-election, there is no evidence of given 21 days notice to INEC by the respondent before conducting their primary election

Justice Saleeman also held that No date of Primaries was placed before the tribunal, no evidence of Primaries and the 3rd respondent has always said it's an internal affairs of the Party

We have tabulated and found out that the results computed by the petition is correct and the results computed by the 1st respondent is dis-countenanced

The 2nd Respondent (Ogah) had argued that the acceptance of the Ministerial appointment of Onyejeocha was a sign that she had abandoned her petition .

However the Tribunal in her ruling dismissed the submission of the Lawmaker.

We are of the view that section 66 is not applicable to this scenario because the Petitioner is not a Lawmaker of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the scenario prohibited by law is a person being a member of two arms of Government," the tribunal ruled.

Not happy with the judgement, the Respondents turned appellants headed for the final Court in these matters.

The Appeal Court held that nomination and membership are internal affairs of a Political Party and the petitioners turned respondents had no locus to raise same.

The Court further upheld the Appeal and re-affirmed Ogah as duly elected and returned.

The Appeal Court had earlier concurred with the tribunal's earlier affirmation of Obinna Aguocha (LP) as duly elected and returned Reps member representing Umuahia North/Umuahia South/Ikwuano Federal Constituency.

In a declared result by INEC in February, Aguocha had defeated the then Speaker of the Abia House of Assembly, PDP's Chinedum Orji.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has upturned the unanimous decision of the tribunal and affirmed Professor Paul Sunday Nnamchi as Reps member representing Enugu East/Isi Uzo Federal Constituency.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in February, declared Labour Party's Nnamchi winner against closest challenger and then incumbent, PDP's Prince Cornelius Nnaji.

Dissatisfied with the results, Nnaji & the PDP approached the tribunal seeking the disqualification of the LP Candidate for not been duly sponsored by his Political Party.

In a September 8 judgement, the tribunal in a unanimous judgement read by Justice A. M. Abubakar, agreed with the Petitioner that the candidate of the Labour Party was not qualified to contest the election as he never resigned from the University before seeking for the new position as required by the new electoral act.

Not happy with the judgement, Nnamchi and the Labour Party approached the higher Court that has so re-affirmed the appellants as duly elected and returned.

No comments:

Post a Comment