By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN—THERE was ju-bilation in Edo North senatorial district of Edo State, yesterday, following the victory of All Progressives Congress, APC, senator representing the area, Senator Domingo Obende, at the Appeal Court, in Abuja.
The senatorial candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Yisa Braimoh, had filed a suit against Obende, alleging that the primary school certificate presented by Obende for the 2011 National Assembly election was forged.
But the Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati, dismissed the forgery allegation against Obende on January 25, 2012 and awarded N100,000 costs to him.
Alhaji Braimoh then approached the Appeal Court after the lower court struck out his suit, saying it was wrongly commenced by originating summons instead of writ of summons.
However, in a ruling written by Justice A. Sanusi and Delivered by Justice Tur, the Court of Appeal said the lower court was right in all its submissions on the matter brought before it by Braimoh where it held that the suit was wrongly instituted.
The Appeal Court struck out the suit and reduced the N100,000 earlier awarded by the lower court in favour of Obende to N30,000.
The court declared that the matter in dispute could only be resolved by adducing oral evidence and not mere documentary evidence.
It concurred with the defence counsel, Mr. Moses Ofeashi, that the suit “is meant to harass, intimidate, vex and embarrass his client”.
Besides, the judge ruled that the court lacked “the jurisdiction to entertain the suit as it is a matter of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal.”
However, while APC members celebrated on the streets of Akoko Edo and Auchi, Senator Obende described the ruling as victory for democracy. According to him, “I am very happy with the ruling because this has confirmed that our judiciary is still the last hope of the common man.
I hope these people will go and rest now and support me to move our senatorial district forward to complement what Governor Adams Oshiomhole, is doing in the state.”