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Appeal Court Affirms Eze as APC Enugu Governorship Candidate


The court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja,Thursday, set aside the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which had sacked Senator Anyogu Eze, as the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the Saturday governorship election.
Delivering judgment in the appeal, the appellate court, in a unanimous judgment delivered by justice Abdul Aboki, upheld the appeal filed by Eze.
It affirmed the candidacy of Eze as the duly nominated candidate to represent the party.
Appeal Court set aside the judgment of Justice Inyang Ekwo, who had earlier ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to replace Eze’s name with one Barrister George Ogara as the APC governorship in Enugu State.
Justice Aboki voided Justice Ekwo’s decision on the grounds that the suit brought before it had become status barred and not competent, having been filed outside the mandatory 14 days stipulated by section 285 sub section 9 of the 1999 constitution.
The Appeal Court held that the suit filed by Ogara at the trial court was caught by the fourth alteration Act to the 1999 constitution which as a new law makes it mandatory for all pre-election matters to be filed within 14 days of the cause of action.
In the instant case, Justice Aboki held that the case was filed more than 33 days after the primaries which took place on the 4th of October, thereby rendering the suit a mere academic exercise.
Justice Aboki said that the failure of Ogara to file his suit within 14 days was against section 285, and thus removed jurisdiction from the Federal High Court and made the case to be status barred.
The appeal court also said that “whatever right the respondent may have in his suit has been extinguished by law” and therefore has no right to benefit any longer from the case.
The Appeal Court therefore ordered INEC to remove Ogara’s name from list of candidates for the Enugu State governorship election.

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