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Court reserves judgement on Nwaoboshi, Nwoko case

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[FILE] Deputy chairman of Okowa’s Governorship Campaign Council, Ned Nwoko

An Appeal Court in Abuja yesterday reserved judgement in a case filed by Peter Nwaoboshi over the nullification of his re-election as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator-elect for Delta North Senatorial district.

Counsel to Nwaoboshi, Tony Idigbe (SAN) in his submission, urged the appellate court to discard the April 3, 2019 Federal High Court judgement against Nwaoboshi as the suit, which the lower court relied on was filed out of time and therefore, statute-barred.

But in his counter submission, Ned Nwoko’s counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN) urged the court to dismiss the appeal, as it was defective, null and frivolous.

Quoting different legal authorities and landmark records, Raji said Nwaoboshi’s lawyer relied on issues alien to law and never emanated from the Federal High Court judgement.

He noted that the extraneous grounds counsel to Nwaoboshi stated in his submission was like telling a lie against the lower court, adding that the issues put forward were taken before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court and not Federal High Court.

Raji said Nwoko’s case was not statute-barred, because time limit concerning the matter was legally predicated on three grounds namely: PDP Primary election, party decision and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) publication of name.

He explained before the Appeal Court that the core of Nwoko’s case was rooted in INEC’s wrongful action to have published Nwaoboshi’s name based on PDP’s decision as consequence of a primary election freely won by Nwoko.

He further argued that wrong publication of Nwaoboshi’s name by INEC instead of presentation of Nwoko’s name was the issue for determination and could not be statute-barred, as the relief Nwoko sought was far ahead of constitutionally required time limit.

Nwoko’s counsel urged the court to dismiss Nwaoboshi’s appeal for lack of merit and uphold the judgement of the Federal High Court in favour of Nwoko.

However, the court reserved judgement to a latter date in what promises to produce an interesting outcome.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba yesterday dismissed a suit filed by Integrity Group and others challenging the primary election that produced Nwaoboshi as PDP’s candidate.

While ruling at resumed sitting on the suit marked FHC/ASB/CS/11/2019, in which the group sought to disqualify Nwaoboshi from contesting the 2019 elections, among other prayers, the court dismissed the case for being statute- barred and lack of merit.

But the trial Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, dismissed all the allegations against Nwaoboshi on the grounds that there was no evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claims.

The court held that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to institute the case on the grounds that the first and second plaintiffs did not participate in the primary election.


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