Supreme Court affirms Ifeanyi Ubah’s election as senator
NEWS DIGEST – The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeals filed by Chief Chris Uba and Dr Obinna Uzor to challenge Ifeanyi Ubah’s election as the senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District.
A five-man panel led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta unanimously held that the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory where the suit began lacked territorial jurisdiction to entertain it.
Justice Ngwuta who read the lead judgment held that the suit ought to have originated from a High Court in Anambra State, where the election in dispute held, instead of the FCT.
Justice Bello Kawu of the FCT High Court had on April 11, 2019 sacked Ubah for allegedly submitting a forged National Examination Council certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission in support of his nomination as a candidate for the February 23, 2019 senatorial election.
The judge ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Dissatisfied, Ubah appealed to the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgement which he insisted occasioned grave miscarriage of justice against him.
The senator who canvassed four grounds of appeal maintained that he was denied fair hearing by the trial court, adding that he was not served with the processes filed in the suit or any hearing notice in respect of the suit.
He also argued that the FCT High Court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to hear and determine a pre-election matter that arose from election that held in Anambra State.
The Court of Appeal upheld his arguments by setting aside the High Court’s judgment.
Chris Uba and Uzor appealed to the Supreme Court.
At the Supreme Court’s hearing Uba’s lawyer, Chief Akin Olujimi, (SAN) and Chino Obiagwu (SAN) for Uzor, had urged the apex court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal, as they insisted that the FCT High Court has territorial jurisdiction over pre-election matters.
However, Ifeanyi Ubah’s lawyer, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), urged the apex court to dismiss the appeals.
The Supreme Court in its judgment dismissed the appeals on the grounds of lack of territorial jurisdiction on the part of the FCT High Court.