Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed two different appeals challenging the election of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah as the Senator representing Anambra South senatorial district.
A five-man panel of Justices of the apex court in a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta dismissed the appeals on the grounds that the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which had ordered the removal of Ubah from office in January lacked the territorial jurisdiction to do so.
Both appeals were against the judgment of Court of Appeal, Abuja which nullified the judgment of an Abuja High Court that ordered the removal of Senator Ubah from office on account of allegations of forgery.
Justice Bello Kawu had on April 11, 2019, in a suit filed by one Anani Chuka nullified Ubah’s election on the premise that he allegedly used a forged National Examination Council (NECO) certificate to contest the senatorial election that brought him into office as Senator.
Justice Kawu on January 17, 2020, further upheld his judgment in a ruling on Ubah’s application seeking a setting aside his sack order on the grounds that the application lacked merit.
The court after sacking Ubah ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return it issued to Ubah and issue a fresh one to Dr. Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who came second at the election.
However a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal in March this year set aside the sack order for being a nullity because the suit which brought about the judgment was unlawfully instituted and did not comply with any known law.
Dissatisfied, the appellants approached the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the appellate court and upheld the judgment of the trial court.
While in the first appeal, Uzoh asked the apex court to upheld the judgment of Justice Kawu and declare him as senator representing Anambra South.
The other appeal filed by Chief Chris Uba prayed the apex court to declare him as the authentic candidate of the PDP who should benefit from the judgment of Justice Kawu.
Delivering judgment in the appeals however, the apex court held that Justice Kawu in the first place ought not to have dabbled into a matter that arose from the primary election conducted in Anambra State for want of jurisdiction.
The apex court accordingly dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit and upheld the election of Ubah as senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District.