APC, Agi get N2m fine over abuse of court in Cross Rivers suit
The Court of Appeal in Abuja, yesterday, awarded N2m against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and one Joe Agi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), to be paid to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Agom Jarigbe, in the December 2020 Cross Rivers North senatorial by-election.
The appellate court imposed the fine on APC and Agi, for engaging in gross abuse of the court in their appeal seeking reversal of earlier judgment that held Jarigbe as PDP candidate and winner of the by-election.
President of the Court, Justice Monica Domgbem-Mensen, dismissed the application brought before the court by APC and its candidate for lacking in merit.
Justice Domgbem-Mensen held that the appeal of the two appellants was brought in bad faith because it has no power to review or amend judgments diligently delivered.
The appeal Court held that such judgments could only be reviewed, where they are fundamentally defective.
She subsequently dismissed the appeal and upheld the July 30, 2021 judgment that recognised Jarigbe as the Senator for Cross Rivers North Senatorial district.
The appellant, Agi had urged the appeal court to set aside its earlier judgment, particularly the portion that declared the second respondent, Jarighe as the winner of the by-election into the Cross River North Senatorial District.
On July 30, 2021, a three-man Appeal Tribunal, headed by Hon. Justice Chioma I. Nwosu had held that Jarigbe Jarigbe was the lawful PDP candidate for the December 5, 2020 by-election, and not Stephen Odey.
Consequently, the court invalidated the Certificate of Return earlier issued to Odey by INEC and declared Jarigbe as the Senator-elect for Cross River North Senatorial District.
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