Senate: Supreme Court Dashes Ekwunife’s Hope, Installs Umeh

Whatapp News



By Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja

The only and last hope of former senator, Uche Ekwunife, to regain her seat at the Senate was, on Friday, dashed by the Supreme Court, who handed the seat of the Anambra Central Senatorial District the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh.

Beleaguered Ekwunife had approached the Apex Court, asking it to upturn the decision of the Appellate Court to stand by the ruling that sent her packing from the Senate, which was given consequent upon an appeal by Umeh, against the tribunal verdict that upheld her victory from the March 28, 2015 Senate election.

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by Ekwunife, challenging the refusal of the Court of Appeal to set aside its earlier judgement of December 7, 2015, which sacked her as the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, and ordered a rerun poll, disqualifying her and the PDP from participating.

The Supreme Court, delivering its judgement, refused to grant Ekwunife’s request, describing her move as a flagrant abuse of court process.

The Apex Court maintained that it had no jurisdiction on the matter, pointing out the fact that all issues arising from the National Assembly election petition tribunal ends in the Court of Appeal, according to Section 246, subsection 3 of the Nigeria’s Constitution.

The lead judgement was read by Justice Amina Augie.

All other justices in the panel agreed with the judgement.

They wondered why anybody would engage in such a futile exercise when the Constitution is very clear on the matter.

The justices advised whoever that wants the Supreme Court to assume jurisdiction on matters relating to legislative elections to go to the National Assembly, and seek for an amendment of the Constitution.

Umeh spoke to journalists, after the Supreme Court ruling.

“From day one, it was clear that this appeal was brought in total disobedience to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And the Constitution you know is the grundnorm. That is the supreme document.

“If there is a clear provision in the Constitution, there is no way you can circumvent it in pursuit of your personal interest or ambition. When we came here on 14th of November (2016), I addressed you, after the hearing of the appeal.

“I said the only way this appeal will succeed is, if the Constitution is amended. And if it is amended today, it will not take a retroactive effect.

“So, it was obvious to us that what they were trying to do is not less than what the Supreme Court described to be flagrant disobedience to the Constitution of Nigeria,” he said.

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