Ex-Minister, Ogah Fails to Stop Emenike’s Candidature as A’Court Stricks Out Suit
The Court of Appeal, Owerri Division Tuesday struck out the suit filed by the former minister of state for mines and steel development, Mr. Uche Ogah challenging the candidature of High Chief Ikechi Emenike, the governorship flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Abia State.
In a unanimous ruling, the appellate cout struck out a motion for leave to appeal as an intrested party, filed by Ogah to challenge the jugment of the High Court of Abia state in suit No HUM/31/2022:High Chief Ikechi Emenike VS APC AND 2 ORS
The High Court had in its judgment delivered on June 24, 2022, affirmed Chief Emenike as the governorship candidate Abia APC for the 2023 general election.
Emenike approached the Abia state high court to determine whether himself having emerged as the candidate of APC in the primary election conducted by the party on June 26, 2022, the party can refuse to submit his name to INEC as the candidate of the party.
He also asked the Court to wether INEC upon the party submiting or uploading his name in its portal can decline to publish his name as the candidate of APC for the 2023 gubernatorial election in Abia state, among other issues for determination.
The Abia state high court in the said judgment in favour of High Chief Emenike mandatedd APC to upload his name in INEC’ portal as the governorship candidate.
It also compelled INEC to accept Emenike’s name as uploaded, publish same as the candidate of APC for gubernatorial election in Abia state in the 2023 general elections.
Above all, the Court restrained INEC from accepting or publishing the name of any other person as the candidate of APC in the said election other than High Chief Ikechi Emenike.
Uche ogah, who was not a party to the suit at the trial court and who did not participate in the primary election of APC as above stated approached the court of Appeal in CA-OW-243M-2022, a motion on notice for leave to appeal against the said judgment as an intrested party.
The legal team of Ikechi Emenike and APC apposed the motion on grounds that the court of appeal lacks the jurisdiction to hear and determine same in that the motion was filed outside 14 days period stipulated in section 285 (11) of the 1999 constutution as amended for filing of an appeal in pre election cases.
The court of appeal upheld the preliminary objection against the motion and ruled that:
“The motion for leave filed by Uche ogah as the Applicant was filed out of time (14) days as provided for and by section 285(11) of the constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and accordingly incompetent.
That the Applicant Uche ogah did not approach the court with clean hands”
In consequence of the above holding, the motion was struck out for want of jurisdiction or vires.