Appeal Court Nullifies Judgement Sacking Ifeanyi Ubah as Senator

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SWITZERLAND, March 19 – The court of appeal in Abuja has affirmed Ifeanyi Ubah as the senator representing Anambra south senatorial district.

Stephen Adah, the appellate court justice, held that the judgment of the lower court which sacked Ubah as senator is a nullity.

Bello Kawu, judge of a federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Kubwa, had voided Ubah’s election on April 11, 2019 on the grounds that he presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) certificate to INEC.

After hearing the case afresh, the high court still affirmed its previous judgment on January 17, 2020, and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ubah and to issue a fresh certificate to Obinna Uzoh, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the senator-elect of the district.

But Ubah contended that he was not given fair hearing.

Ubah through his counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, argued that as of the time the judgment in suit No: FCT/HC/CV/3044/2018 was delivered, the suit was not properly filed before the court and that consequently, “the entire proceedings and the judgment emanating therefrom are manifestly incompetent being a nullity”.

Another issue raised was that the originating summons was not signed by any counsel as required by law.

Delivering the judgment, Adah held that the law makes it mandatory for a legal practitioner to sign an originating summons before it is issued out.

He said: “A document that is not signed is a worthless piece of paper and has no credibility.”

He also agreed that the right of the appellant to fair hearing was breached by the trial court.

“Right to fair hearing is very fundamental and anything done afterwards results to a nullity,” he said.

“The judgment of the lower court is a nullity and is hereby set aside.”

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