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JUST IN: Appeal Court reserves judgment in Senator Ubah’s appeal

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved judgment in the appeal by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah against the judgment of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which ordered his removal from office as Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District.

Justice Stephen Adah, who led a three-panel of the court, announced after hearing parties that they will be informed when judgment is ready.

Lawyer to Ubah, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), while adopting the appellant’s brief, urged the court to allow the appeal.

Ikpeazu also urged the court to set aside the judgment of the High Court of the FCT on the grounds that the suit on which the judgment was based was incompetent.

He was of the view that the stamp and seal of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) affixed to the originating summons was forged, and that the payment for the originating summons was made on September 25th 2019, months after the judgment was delivered.

Ubah’s party, the Young People’s Party (YDP) asked the court to allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the High Court of the FCT.

Respondents to the appeal, including Anani Chuka and Dr Obinna Uzoh prayed the court to dismiss the appeal in its entirety.

Justice Bello Kawu had on January 17, 2020 affirmed his order which nullified Ubah’s election on the ground that he allegedly used a forged National Examination Council (NECO), certificate to contest the senatorial election that held in Anambra South on February 23, 2019.

The court had on April 11, 2019, ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return it issued to Ubah and issue a fresh one to Dr. Obinna Uzoh of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who came 2nd at the election.

Dissatisfied, Ubah approached the Court of Appeal to set-aside the judgement which he insisted occasioned grave miscarriage of justice against him.

In the appeal predicated on four grounds, the Senator insisted that he was denied fair hearing by the trial court, adding that he was neither served with the Originating Processes nor hearing notice with respect to the suit that led to his sack from the Senate.

Besides, he argued that the Abuja court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to hear and determine a pre-election matter that arose from election that held in Anambra State.

However, in his further affidavit in support of his motion on notice filed on March 6, 2020, Ubah is asking the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of Justice Kawu on the grounds that the entire proceedings and the judgment emanating there from are manifestly incompetent being a nullity.

According to him, the proceedings amounts to a nullity on the grounds that, “As at the time the judgment in suit numbered: FCT/HC/CV/3044/2018 was purportedly delivered, the suit had not been filed as filing fees had not been paid.

“That as at the date of filing of this action the appellant/ applicant had been duly elected as the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District and his election has been affirmed on September 9, 2019, by the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra State.

“That having regard to the date of payment of filing fees, suit numbered: FCT/HC/CV/3044/2018 was a post-election matter and the lower court had no jurisdiction to entertain same.

“That by the above, the suit, the entire proceedings and the judgment emanating there from are manifestly incompetent being a nullity.”

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