APC Crisis: Appeal court upholds Erue-led executives in Delta
The affirmation followed an appeal filed by the Erue-led executives against the March 18, this year, judgment of Asaba Federal High Court, which declared the Cyril Ogodo-led faction as authentic executives of the party.
The court in a unanimous judgment read by Justice Mohammed Shaibu held that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit as it bordered on intra-party matter.
The appellate court also held that respondents’ non-compliance with Section 97 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act was a fundamental breach of the law, adding that statutory provision on service of writ of summons was not complied with, as the writ was not endorsed.
Besides, the court further held that the failure of the respondents to file their suit within 14 days of the act complained of (pre-election) extinguished their rights and therefore lack locus standi to contest the primary they did not participate in.
“In the instant case, the respondents were neither aspirants nor contestants and therefore lack locus standi to challenge the action of the APC.
“The appeal is allowed. The judgment of the lower court is hereby struck out for lack of jurisdiction,” Justice Shaibu ruled.
The court awarded N100,000 cost against the respondents.
In another judgment on the same subject matter, the court held that election matters are time-bound and must be strictly adhered to, adding that the lower court was wrong to have assumed jurisdiction in the suit.
“The lower court was wrong; the judgment is a nullity and is hereby set aside,” the court held in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice C.N Uwa.
By the judgment, all actions taken by the Erue-led executive, including fielding candidates for the 2019 elections, such as Great Ogboru as the governorship candidate of the party, as well as the candidacy of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Emmanuel Uduaghan and others presented by the faction and upheld by APC’s national headquarters, have been validated.
There was wild jubilation shortly after the judgment by Erue’s supporters at the premises of the Court of Appeal in Benin.
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