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SíCourt dismisses suit to overturn judgment on Amaechi

Posted by From GODWIN TSA Abuja on 2008/05/29 | Views: 824 |

SíCourt dismisses suit to overturn judgment on Amaechi


The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed an application by the governorship candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in Rivers State, Mr. Kelechi Onyekwere, asking it to set aside its judgment declaring Rotimi Amaechi as the state governor.

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed an application by the governorship candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in Rivers State, Mr. Kelechi Onyekwere, asking it to set aside its judgment declaring Rotimi Amaechi as the state governor.

The presiding judge, Justice Iyorgher Katsina-Alu, dismissed the application on the ground that the applicant lacked the locus standi to bring the action because he was not a party to the suit which gave rise to the judgment he is challenging.

Katsina-Alu further held that the applicant ought to have applied to join the suit while it was still pending at the Supreme Court.
Having not joined the suit when the case was before the court, the Supreme Court held that, it was too late for Onyekwere to apply to set aside the judgment. Onyekwere had asked the court to set aside the judgment which declared Amaechi as the governor on the grounds that the judgment was given without jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court, had on October 25, 2007 ordered Celestine Omehia to vacate the governorís seat and ordered Amaechi to be sworn-in. The apex court had reasoned that the Peoples Democratic Party illegally replaced Amaechi with Omehia.

The judgment raised concern because Amaechi was not on the candidates list on the election day.
Many lawyers who criticized the judgment were of the views that the Rivers State people were not given the opportunity to elect their governor.

But in the judgment given earlier in the year, the Supreme Court based its decision on the fact that voters voted for political parties and not individuals and that since PDP won the election the proper candidate of the party should be declared winner. Onyekwere also asked the court to nullify all the acts done by Amaechi on the basis of the judgment of the Supreme Court. He said: ďThat on 25th October, 2007 when the judgment of the court was delivered, this court lacked the jurisdiction to validly declare Amaechi as the duly elected governor of Rivers State, in view of obvious lack of jurisdiction as by section 285 of the 1999 Constitution which reserved exclusive jurisdiction for same with Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.Ē

He also stated that before the apex court judgment there was another judgment against Amaechi on the same issues, which meant the court (Supreme Court) lacked jurisdiction to decide on the issues again.
ďThat the court cannot under section 22 of the Supreme Court Act or under its inherent powers give a consequential order on an issue it has no jurisdiction on, as an issue brought as a ground of appeal is a major relief and not a consequential order,Ē he added.

Our correspondent reports that a similar application was brought before the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment which removed Dr. Andy Uba from office as the governor of Anambra State. But the apex court dealt summarily with it and dismissed it.

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