The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Monday adjourned till March 12 the hearing of an appeal filed by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah to challenge an April 11, 2019 judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Kubwa, Abuja, sacking him as the senator representing Anambra South.
A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Stephen Adah, announced the new hearing date after the hearing scheduled for Monday was stalled due to a fresh document filed by Ifeanyi Ubah’s legal team.
Ubah, who is of the Young Progressive Party, had on March 6, 2020, through his lead counsel, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), filed a motion on notice asking the Court of Appeal to declare the FCT High Court’s judgment a nullity.
He adduced irregularities in the payment and the affixed Nigerian Bar Association’s seal for the filing of the suit at the court below as the grounds for the application.
Ikpeazu told the court on Monday that he had shortly before the proceedings commenced filed a further affidavit in support on the motion.
The lawyers to Anani Chuka and Dr Obinna Uzoh, who initiated the suit at the FCT High Court, asked for time to respond to the motion.
While Chuka was represented by Mr M.N. Mohammed, Uzoh was represented by Prof. H. A. Olaniyan.
But YPP’s lawyer, J. Marshal, and the counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, S. Danbaba, said they did not intend to file any objection to the application.
Ubah’s lawyer, Ikpeazu, informed the court on Monday that the case being a pre-election matter, there were only seven days left for the appeal to lapse.
The FCT High Court had on April 11, 2019 sacked Ubah for allegedly submitting a forged National Examination Council certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission in support of his nomination as a candidate for the February 23, 2019 senatorial election.
The judge had also ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the YPP candidate.
He also directed that a fresh one be issued to Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party, who came second in the election.
But Ubah had subsequently filed an application before the court praying for an order setting aside the judgment on the grounds that occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice against him.
He said he was not served with the court processes or the hearing notice throughout the proceedings leading to the judgment.
On December 4, 2019, Justice Kawu granted an order of stay of execution restraining the Senate President from swearing in Uzoh, pending the hearing and determination of Ubah’s application.
The judge also ordered all parties to the suit including the INEC to maintain status quo in the meantime.