Supreme Court affirms Tony Nwoye as PDP candidate of Anambra Governorship Candidate

Legal battle over who should be the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the 16 November governorship election in Anambra state, was on Monday resolved by Nigeria’s Supreme Court siting in Abuja.

In a judgement, the court affirmed that Mr. Tony Nwoye was the validly nominated candidate of the crisis ridden party.

The apex court declined to hear a motion brought by another gubernatorial aspirant in the party, Senator Andy Uba, where he pleaded with the apex court to join him in the matter as an interested party.

The judgment was on the appeal brought before the court by Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu where he challenged the decision of a Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt which upturned a favourable judgment he obtained at a Federal High Court, also in Port Harcourt.

The High court had earlier sacked Nwoye from flying the party’s flag on the ground that Nwoye did not pay his tax as at when due and declared. The court declared Ukachukwu the party’s candidate,

Ukachukwu’s lawyer, Mr. J. B Dawodu, a senior advocate of Nigeria, had claimed that the Court of Appeal did not grant his client fair hearing, claiming that his motion for extension of time during the proceedings at that court was never heard.

He insisted it was a one sided affair as Ukachukwu’s lawyer at the proceedings, Mr. Orji Nwafor Orizu, was never called upon by that court to hear his motion.

In a unanimous decision by a 5 man panel of the apex court, it held that there was no merit on the issue of fair hearing raised by Ukachukwu against the decision of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

“After careful perusal of the briefs, oral submissions of parties, cases cited and records of proceedings, we are satisfied that the appellant was given full opportunity to be heard but failed to avail himself of same,” the court held.

On the second ground of Ukachukwu’s appeal, which was predicated on the issue of jurisdiction by the trial court, the Supreme Court disagreed with the Court of Appeal that the High Court did not have jurisdiction on the matter. On the contrary the nations highest court said the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt indeed had the jurisdiction to have entertained his suit.

“Having carefully considered the provision of Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, we are of the view that the trial court had jurisdiction to look into a complaint of non compliance by PDP in the selection or nomination of the party’s candidate” the court stated.

Th court however observed that there is no appeal against the finding of fact made by Court of Appeal which returned Nwoye as the validly nominated candidate of the party in its judgment and held that having not been appealed against, that the decision stands and thereafter affirmed and upheld. The Court of Apeal’s decision.

The court adjourned till January 2014 to give detailed reasons for it’s decision.Source:PMnews

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