The Federal High Court, Uyo, on Friday struck out the application for stay of execution filed by Bassey Akpan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, representing Akwa Ibom North. Mr. Akpan filed the suit for the court to stay execution of its February 27 judgment, which was in favour of Bassey Etim, also of the PDP.
The judge, Fatun Riman, said that since there was an appeal on his judgment of February 27, his court has no jurisdiction to entertain the same matter. The judge, therefore, struck out the case and awarded N50,000 cost in favour of Mr. Etim, the defendant.
The court in the February 27 judgment had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to immediately issue certificate of return to Mr. Etim. The court faulted the primary that produced Mr. Akpan as the flag bearer of the PDP.
Speaking to journalists after the judgment, counsel to the defendant, Taiwo Abe, described the judgment as excellent. He said that the application was brought by the appellant, PDP and Mr. Akpan. “The record shows that the appellant had already filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Calabar. “His Lordship said that only the Court of Appeal can entertain stay of execution, since the case had been transmitted from the Federal High Court, Uyo, to Court of Appeal, Calabar, since March 10, 2017.’’
“I made the application that the court should strike out the case and award me a cost, the judge today has agreed with me and even granted cost of N50, 000.’’ Also speaking, counsel to Mr. Akpan, Godswill Umoh, said that he was satisfied with the judgment.
“Actually, that is the rule of practice, since we have filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal; the lower court cannot adjudicate on the same matter. “Earnestly, the rule of practice is we withdraw the case, which I did.” Despite the court ruling, Mr. Akpan will remain a senator until the Court of Appeal, or eventually the Supreme Court, rules on the matter.