Bayelsa guber: Appeal Court strikes out joinder application in Diri’s appeal

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on Monday struck out the  application brought before it by some  members of the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) in the Appeal filed by Duoye Diri challenging his removal by the Bayelsa state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

The said ANDP members and executives, led by one James Femowei, in an application dated 9th September 2020 purportedly filed on behalf of members and the executives of the ANDP seeking for an order joining them in the appeal, Numbered, CA/ABJ/EPT/GOV/703/2020 between Duoye Diri V. ANDP & 2 ORS as interested parties.

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In opposing the application, counsel to ANDP, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN)  filed a Notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the application and also the competence of the said application.

He argued that the Applicants are not entitled to present or defend an election petition or appeal arising therefrom under Sections 133 and 137 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended).

 Ogunwumiju submitted that the Applicants lack the locus standi to challenge any decision of the election petition tribunal touching on the validity of an election or return at an election and that the Applicants’ purported complaint is an intra-party dispute in respect of which the lower Tribunal and the Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction. 

He concluded that the interest displayed in the application is nothing but a pre-election matter which ought to be litigated at the regular High Courts and not in an appeal emanating from the decision of an election tribunal.

After hearing parties in the matter, the Court  delivered a bench ruling striking out the application as being vexatious, time-wasting and an abuse of court process and adjourned the case to September 23, 2020 for the hearing of the substantive appeal.


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