The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu, presided over by Ndukwe Anyanwu, Tuesday, reserved judgement in a suit seeking to disqualify all candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from participating in the recently held 2023 elections.
The suit, brought by Comrade Chika Emmanuel Idoko of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) sought for the PDP’s disqualification on the grounds that the party contravened Section 77 of the Electoral Act.
Although the Federal High Court, sitting in Enugu, had on February 17, 2023, delivered judgement, saying that the petitioner had no locus standi to pursue the action, Idoko, through his lawyers moved the matter to the Court of Appeal.
He claimed that the PDP primary election was in contravention of Section 77 of the Electoral Act and should thus be voided, adding that the party should be punished in line with extant provisions of Section 84 of the same Act.
The reason for the Appeal was because the Federal High Court in its judgement has stated that it was only a member of the same political party that has the right to sue for such a violation, but Idoko, through his lawyers, argued that such a rule was an importation into the system, because there’s no reference of such in both the Electoral Act and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which made it clear that the applicant must be an Aspirant Candidate (in the election).
When the matter came up for hearing at the Court of Appeal, Counsel to the Appellant, C I Odo Esq, adopted his brief of argument and urged the court to allow the appeal of the appellant, do that which the lower court failed to do by assuming jurisdiction to deliver considered judgement in the case.
The counsels to the respondents/cross appellants on their part, adopted their cross appellants briefs of argument and their respondents brief of argument and urged the court to dismiss the appeal and set aside the ruling of the lower court and grant the reliefs sought for in their cross appeal.
After listening to the prayers of the counsels, the Court reserved the judgement and will communicate date to the parties.