The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeals brought by Chief Chris Uba and Dr Obinna Uzor challenging the election of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah as the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District.
The Apex Court in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta who led four other justices of the court held that the High Court Of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) lacks the territorial jurisdiction to determine a matter that arose from the primary election conducted in Anambra State, saying that the cause of action emanated from Anambra State and not the FCT.
At the hearing of the appeals brought by Chris Uba and Obinna, they had prayed the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal which had voided the Judgment Of Justice Bello Kawu of the FCT High Court and allow their appeal on the grounds that the FCT High Court has territorial jurisdiction over pre-election matters among other issues raised in the appeal.
Tribune Online reports that Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), counsel for Uba and Chino Obiagwu (SAN), counsel for Uzor, argued that what determines the cause of action is the originating process.
However, Counsel to Senator Ubah, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), in his argument urged the apex court to dismiss the appeals on the grounds that FCT High Court lacks the territorial jurisdiction to entertain a cause of action that emanated from Anambra State.
Reacting to the judgment of the Supreme Court, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah said: ”I give God all the glory that this has come to pass, I dedicate this victory to God and the people of Anambra South who have stood by me through all this trial.
“We can settle down to deliver on our electoral promises to my constituents. I thank the Justices of the Supreme for standing for truth and justice. This has once again shown that our Justices cannot be intimidated.”
Dissatisfied with the Court of Appeal decision Chris Uba and Obinna Uzor approached the Supreme Court to challenge the judgment.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal Abuja, Division had on March 19th 2020, set aside the judgment of FCT High Court, which had ordered the removal of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah from office as the senator representing Anambra South senatorial district at the National Assembly.
Justice Stephen Adah who delivered the unanimous judgment of the three-man panel held that the judgment of the lower court was given without jurisdiction and therefore a nullity.
The court further agreed with Ubah that the originating processes which gave rise to the judgment delivered by Justice Bello Kawu was not signed by the plaintiff’s lawyer.
The court also awarded the cost of N250, 000 each against the respondents in favour of Senator Ubah.