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How Supreme Court Judgement affected Oduah & Ubah
Stella Oduah and Andy Ubah

How Supreme Court Judgement affected Oduah & Ubah

Though there was no case in the Supreme Court challenging the elections of Senators Andy Ubah and Stella Oduah, they were affected in the judgement via the process with which they were nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Actually the matter before the apex court in the land was related to the supremacy battle that engulfed the Anambra PDP between Ejike Oguebego and Ken Emekayi.

In the opinion of the learned Justices of the Supreme Court, Oguebego faction of the party was the authentic and legitimate faction, therefore he was the rightful Chairman of Anambra PDP, which nullifies any action that had been taken by the Ken Emekayi-led Exco.

What had happened is that both Oguebego and Emekayi had sent lists to INEC, and the electoral body was in a fix. But the court helped INEC to resolve the issues.

Oguebego headed to the High Court asking that he be declared the Chairman, he was granted his prayers.

The judgement of the Federal High Court stated “That the second defendant (INEC), its agents, servants, privies, assigns, officials, whatsoever name they may be called, are restrained from accepting or receiving any delegate list or nominated candidates that may emerge from the congresses or primaries conducted by the caretaker committee set up by the first defendant for the Peoples Democratic Party, Anambra State chapter except those that emanate from the plaintiffs.

“That the first defendant the Peoples Democratic Party by the purported appointment of a caretaker committee to oversee, run the affairs and conduct elections for the Peoples Democratic Party, Anambra State chapter is in flagrant disobedience and contempt of the Order of this Honourable court made by Honourable Justice E.S Chukwu on the 10th day of October, 2014 and re-affirmed on the 24th in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS680/2014 – Ken Emekayi Vs. Peoples Democratic Party and others.”

The court papers were served on INEC and it complied. Just before elections, the Emekayi faction unsatisfied with that judgement went to the Appeal Court. The Appeal Court in Abuja settled the matter in their favour and so INEC complied. And now Oguebego and another member of his state executive committee, Chuks Okoye were the ones who approached the Supreme Court.

The apex court, in its judgement, affirmed as null and void a caretaker committee, headed by Col. Augustine Akobundo (retd.), and its list, nominating Oduah and Uba, as well as the rest of PDP state and federal legislators from Anambra State to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the party’s candidates for the 2015 general elections.

A five-man panel of the apex court, led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, unanimously affirmed an earlier verdict delivered by Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 15, 2014, which had affirmed the Ejike Oguebego-led executive committee of the party, along with the primaries conducted by it, and its list of candidates that emerged from the exercise.

Ruling in favour of Oguebego on Friday, Justice John Okoro, who read the lead judgement of the apex court, upturned the verdict of the appeal court on the grounds that its decision was based “on a wrong appreciation of the claim of the appellants before the trial Federal High Court.”

Justice Okor ruled, “Having resolved all the five issues in favour of the appellants, I hold that there is merit in this appeal, which is hereby allowed. The judgement of the Court of Appeal is hereby set aside.

“The order of the Federal High Court I Suit No FHC/PH/CS/2013 now Suit No FHC/AWK/CS/247/2013), recognising the Ejike Oguebego-led Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, Anambra State chapter is still subsisting until it is set aside by another court.

“I hereby award costs of N100, 000 against the first and third respondents in favour of the appellants.”

According to Mr. Hassan Liman (SAN), Counsel to INEC, he would advise his “client to substitute the list of the PDP legislators with the list upheld by the Federal High Court.”Which means, Andy Ubah and Oduah would be replaced by Chris Ubah and Annie Okonkwo.

 

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