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Monday, December 11, 2023

Anambra poll: Court of Appeal, Enugu adjourns ruling on Ozigbo, Uba case



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By Favour Goodness

The Court of Appeal in Enugu has on Wednesday adjourned ruling on the appeal brought before it by Mr Valentine Ozigbo and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Sen. Ugochukwu Uba & two others.

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Recall that on July 5, 2021, Sen. Ugochukwu Uba, who did not participate in the PDP primary, instituted a suit against the PDP, its candidate, Valentine Ozigbo and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), wherein he challenged Ozigbo’s candidature for the November 6, 2021 governorship election.

Barely 24 hours after Sen. Uba instituted the suit, Justice Nwabunike curiously granted an ex parte injunction restraining INEC from carrying out their constitutional duty and also abridged the time within which the Defendants are legally obliged to file their defence from 42 days to only 3 days in violation of Order 16 Rule 1(2) of the Anambra State High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019.

Despite the apparent hardship created by this strange ex parte order, the judge, on the day of the hearing, being the 16th of July 2021, denied the defendants time to respond to the processes served on them and proceeded with the hearing of the Plaintiff’s case and however delivered judgement on the said matter.

Ozigbo, the candidate of the PDP however appealed the said judgment with an application for a stay of execution that was granted by the Court of Appeal on Aug. 2, 2021.

During today’s sitting at the Court of Appeal, the attention of the panel of Justices which was presided by Honourable Justice Dongban Mensa, the President of the Court of Appeal, was drawn by Mr Alex Ejesieme, SAN, the lead Counsel to Ozigbo to some motions filed in the course of instituting the suit, which events have however overtaken.

The particular motions were sought to be withdrawn, and the court graciously obliged the PDP and subsequently struck them out.

The Court of Appeal, thereafter, adjourned for judgment on a date to be communicated to the parties.

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