By Ise-Oluwa IGE,Â Abuja
A five-memberÂ panel ofÂ the Supreme Court yesterday okayed the April 14, 2007 election of Senator Effiong Bob into the National Assembly.
Bob isÂ representing the Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial DistrictÂ atÂ theÂ upper chamber of the legislative house.
The endorsement of his election, yesterday, came after the Supreme Court justices unanimously declared him (Effiong) as the bonafide candidate ofÂ theÂ ruling PeoplesÂ Democratic Party [PDP] for the 2007 senatorial poll inÂ theÂ state.
They said there was no merit in the appeal brought by his opponent, Chief Imeh Albert Akpan, seeking to void Bobâ€™s election.
In fact, the justices said that the live issues that ought to be submitted for determination were abandoned while Akpanâ€™s counsel went on a voyage of obfuscating issues, himself and the court.
The five justices of the apex court who also complained bitterly about the bad language in which some of the briefs were written did not spare the camp of Chief Imeh Albert Akpan yesterday for allegedly insinuating that the judgment given by the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal in favour of the sitting senator was one that qualified as â€˜cash-and-carryâ€™
They said the live issue in the case for determination was a simple one which ought not to have come to court or the Supreme Court, in the first place in view of the apex courtâ€™s verdict in Olusola Oke Vs Ehinlawo.
Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad delivered the lead judgment in the case yesterday.
Justice Tanko Muhammad threw out all the grounds of the appeal brought by Akpan. He said that although three of such grounds were competent but that they were lacking in merit.
He also said that the remaining grounds of the appeal wereÂ incompetent, adding that an incompetent grounds of appeal could not give birth to live issues.
According to Justice Muhammad â€œin my view, by my earlier holding on the incompetence of the majority of the grounds of appeal,Â all issues arising thereof are incompetent.
â€œThe trite position of the law is that an incompetent ground of appeal cannot give birth to a competent issue for determination.
â€œIt is needless for me dissipating energy on these incompetent issues. They are accordingly hereby struck out along with any submissions based on them.
â€œIn the final result, the main appeal filed by the appellant lacks merit and I hereby dismiss it.
â€œI affirm the decision of the court below.
Other justices took turns to concur with the lead judgment.