Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, will on April 8, decide on the eligibility of the senator-elect representing Enugu East Senatorial District, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, in the just concluded National Assembly election in Enugu State.
Justice Ekwo fixed the date Monday after counsel to both parties in the suit adopted their briefs of arguments in the suit seeking Nnamani’s disqualification on the grounds that he (Nnamani) did not physically appear before the Commissioner of Oaths to depose to Form CF001 known as Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Affidavit in support of the person seeking election to the office/membership of Senate.
In a pre- election suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1574/2018, the plaintiff, Lawrence Ezeh, a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is seeking an order restraining Nnamani from further parading or holding himself as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Enugu East.
The plaintiff, in the suit filed by his counsel, Mr. Frank Ikpe, is further praying the court for an order compelling INEC (second defendant) to stop further parading or holding Nnamani as the PDP senatorial candidate for Enugu East.
Meanwhile, both Nnamani and INEC have filed their motions challenging the competence of the suit as well as the jurisdiction of the court to adjudicate on the matter.
While the former governor was represented in court by Obina Onya, Mr. Tobechukwu Nweke appeared in court on behalf of the electoral body.
The suit, which is predicated on section 117(4) of the Evidence Act, 2010, posed the following questions for determination by the court:
“Whether from a proper interpretation of the provisions of Section 117(4) of the Evidence Acts Laws of the Federation, the first defendant does not have a duty to personally appear before the Commissioner of Oaths to depose to the sworn affidavit filed with the second defendant as part of the legal requirement for the contest of the senatorial seat for Enugu Senatorial District of Enugu State.
“Whether the first defendant having not physically and personally sworn the purported affidavit filed with the second defendant in the presence of the Commissioner of Oaths in line with the provisions of Section 117(4) of the Evidence Act is eligible to contest an election for the position of a senator of the Enugu East Senatorial District of Enugu State.”
In the event the questions are in the affirmative, the plaintiff wants “an order directing the second defendant not to accord/and or stop further according the first defendant recognition or in any way treating the first defendant as the PDP senatorial candidate for Enugu Senatorial Zone.