By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Supreme Court, yesterday, upheld the emergence of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, as the winner of Delta North Senatorial District Peoples Democratic Party primary held on 2nd October 2018 and duly elected on February 23, 2019.
In a unanimous decision, the apex court struck out the two appeals brought by Ned Nwoko, challenging Senator Nwaoboshi election for lack of jurisdiction.
In the judgement, Justice Inyang Okoro held that the originating summons filed by Ned Nwoko on 11 December 2018 at the Federal High Abuja was incompetent.
The Supreme court maintained that the lower court judge was in error as the incompetent process had robbed the court off its jurisdiction
“ The originating summons is incompetent , judgment of the trial court is without jurisdiction”
“This court has raised the issue of jurisdiction so moto (on its own) in the light of section 295(8) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended ) as to when the cause of action arose,’’ the judge held.
The appellant and indeed all parties agreed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared Sen. Nwaoboshi winner of the primary election on 2nd October 2018 and that the declaration set off the action taken by the appellant.
“The appellant (Nwoko ) was aggrieved on 2nd October 2018 when the result was announced” justice Okoro held
He said that the argument by Nwoko ‘s lawyer that the cause of action was a continuous injury did not fly at all in the light of the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution.
The amendment provide that pre election matters should be filed within 14 days when the action ,event and decision took place, in the instant case the appellant went to court on 11th December 2018.
The trial court judge, justice Ahmed Mohammed granted the relief sought and declared Ned Nwoko as senator -elect for Delta North district.
Not satisfied with the court decision, Senator Nwaoboshi approached the Court of Appeal challenging the lower court ruling.
The Court of Appeal in a unanimous judgment set aside the judgment of Federal High Court delivered by Justice Ahmed Mohammed and struck out Nwoko’s suit for being statute barred at the time it was filed at the lower court.
The Appellate court had in its judgement read by Justice Mohammed Baba Idris held that,
“By the time the matter was instituted the action was statute barred having commenced outside the 14 days allowed by the law”
Dissatisfied with the decision Nwoko headed to the Supreme Court for redress.