Anambra South: Justice will be served ― Senator Ubah
The Senator representing Anambra South, Ifeanyi Ubah has said he has implicit confidence in the Court of Appeal to set aside Friday’s pronouncement of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Bello Kawu had dismissed Senator Ubah’s application asking the court to stay execution in an earlier judgment which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to him and to issue a fresh certificate to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Obinna Uzoh.
Checks revealed that the judge had, last December, earlier granted a stay of execution on a judgment asking Senator Ubah to vacate the Senate.
The stay of execution was sequel to prayers before the court by Senator Ubah that he was neither given fair hearing nor served with the court process and hearing notice in the suit before the court delivered the judgment against him.
Justice Kawu at the weekend dismissed Senator Ubah’s application as lacking in merit.
But Senator Uba in a statement issued to newsmen and signed by his media aide, Adichie Uzochukwu, said the pronouncement of Justice Kawu was a miscarriage of justice.
He argued that Chris Ubah, not Obinna Uzoh was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last March national assembly elections and was never a member of the YPP to be joined in a press election matter in the latter party.
The statement read in part: “The Court declared Obinna Uzoh as the winner of the election contrary to Section 285(13) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, 4th alteration, as amended, which provides that the Court cannot declare any person who did not participate in all the stages of an election as the winner. Obinna Uzoh did not participate in the elections as it was Chris Uba that participated under the platform of the PDP and was duly announced by INEC as the 1st runner up.
“The Court has no jurisdiction to join Obinna Uzoh in a YPP pre-election matter as Obinna Uzoh was a member of the PDP and not an aspirant in the YPP primary election. The joining of Obinna Uzoh in YPP’s pre-election matter is contrary to section 87(9) of the Electoral Act as amended.
“The Court also has no jurisdiction to grant any relief in the claim after finding out that the claims of the claimant (Anani Cletus) have been overtaken by events according to the judgments of the Court. At that point, the pre-election matter filed by Anani Cletus came to an end. Curiously, rather than strike out the suit, the Court proceeded to consider the post-election reliefs sought by Obinna Uzoh’s lawyers in their final written address in opposition to the claim of Anani Cletus. This approach is unheard of in Nigeria’s legal jurisprudence as written addresses of Counsels are mere legal arguments and not claims.”
Ubah, who hinted that he has since filed an appeal against the judgement of Justice Kawu, expressed confidence that the Court of Appeal would set aside the pronouncement as he noted that the issue of the winner of the Anambra South senatorial election had since been settled in his favour last October by the Court of Appeal.
“Finally, Senator Ubah has appealed against the Judge’s refusal to set aside the judgment of 11th April 2019 granted to a co-defendant and also filed a motion for injunction to stay the judgment of the FCT High Court (Bwari division), pending the determination of the Appeal at the Appellate Court. All relevant parties including INEC have been served. We have absolute confidence that justice will be served by the Court of Appeal.
“It is important to point out that the judgment of the FCT High Court delivered in April 2019 is contrary to the Court of Appeal’s judgment which was delivered in Senator Ifeanyi Ubah’s favour on the 29th of October, 2019, months after that of the of FCT High Court. It is crucial to note that the Court of Appeal is higher in hierarchy and their decisions cannot be overturned or rendered ineffectual by the FCT High Court being a lower court of record.”