Senate: Appeal Court halts Sen. Nnaji's bid to stop Ex-Gov. Chimaroke Nnamani

By AdvocateNews on 15/06/2019

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Senator Dr Chimaroke Nnamani
Senator Dr Chimaroke Nnamani

Former Senator Gilbert Nnaji who represented Enugu East senatorial zone during the eight National Assembly on Friday  lost his bid to return to the senate. 

The Court of Appeal Enugu Division dismissed his case against former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani now representing the constituency at the red chambers for lacking in merit.

In a unanimous decision on the appeal filed against Senator Nnamani, the court came hard on Nnaji for accusing the Federal High court of not giving him fair hearing.

The three issues canvassed for determination by the appellant (Nnaji) were resolved in favour of Nnamani and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Nnaji, who was defeated at the PDP Senatorial primary election held at Agbani, had approached a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu asking that he be declared the rightful candidate of the PDP, on the grounds that Nnamani, who emerged victorious, was not allegedly present for the party’s screening before the primary elections.

But Nnamani, through his counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, countered his claims, insisting that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit as it was statute barred.

The PDP on its part also tendered documents before the court showing that the former governor was cleared to contest the primary election.

The Federal High Court, in its judgement on April 5, agreed with Nnamani and the PDP that the suit was statute barred and consequently struck it out.

Dissatisfied by the decision of the trial court, Nnaji headed to the Appeal Court with three grounds of Appeal. In his appeal, he accused the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba of denying him right to fair hearing.

However, delivering judgement on Friday, Justice Chinwe Iyizoba, JCA, Hon. Justice Bolaji Yusuf, JCA, and Hon Justice Ibrahim Andenyangtso, JCA, agreed with the entire decision of the lower court.

It said the suit was filed outside the 14-day period allowed by law, as the date of occurrence of event was 15th of September while the suit was filed on 8th of October, 2018.

It upheld the decision of the trial court that the case was statute barred.

Justice Iyizoba, who read the judgement said “the inevitable conclusion is that the Appeal lacks merit, proof, is speculative and is hereby dismissed.”

The Court held that even considering the merits of the case, Nnaji “defaulted in his undertaking to abide by the decision of the party before the primary election. He cannot rescind from his decision.”

While also declaring that Nnaji had no footing on which to allege lack of fair hearing, the Appeal Court said “the action of the applicant is unpardonable.”

“Having resolved all the three issues for determination in favour of the respondents, I hold that this application is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed,” the Court held further.

Posted 15/06/2019 12:04:33 AM

 

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