By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia State, Sir Friday Nwosu, who filed a tax forgery suit against Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, has prayed the Supreme Court to merge all appeals on the protracted state governorship tussle in order to ensure justice for all the contending parties.
Nwosu whose appeal on the judgment of the Federal High Court, Owerri, is still pending at the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, wants the Supreme Court to take over the hearing of his appeal or direct the panel sitting over it to determine the matter without further delay.
A five panel of the Court of Appeal headed by Justice R.C. Agbo which was constituted to hear the appeals arising from the judgment of the Federal High Court, Owerri, had adjourned to October, 20, 2016, as the court held that counsel to Uche Ogah, O.J. Nnadi, SAN, was not served.
While praying for the apex court to consolidate and deliver judgment on all appeals lying at different courts on the tax suit, Nwosu insisted that it will serve the best interest of justice if the appeals on the judgment of the Justice Morenike Ogunwumiju panel, lying at the Supreme Court, are heard together with his appeal, CA/OW/190/2016 pending at the Court of Appeal, Owerri, to avoid rendering it an academic exercise.
Nwosu noted that the trial of the two suits differently and delivery of two contradictory judgements has caused monumental embarrassment in the country’s Judiciary while the development has thrown Abia State into a near state of anarchy, since 27th June, 2016 and 8th July, 2016 when the two judgements were delivered by Justices Okon Abang and Lewis Allagoa, of the Abuja and Owerri Divisions of the Federal High Court, respectively.
He said, “If the Supreme Court does not intervene under Sections 17 and 22 of the Supreme Court Act as I prayed, Appeal No. CA/OW/190/2016 will be rendered an academic exercise and thereby denying me the right to fair hearing. All the materials required for the determination of the Appeal are contained in the Records of
Appeal already compiled and transmitted to court of Appeal, Owerri Division in Appeal No. CA/OW/190/2016 Sir Friday Nwosu vs. PDP and 3 others. Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/71/2016 i.e. CA/A/390/2016, CA/A/390A/2016 and CA/A/390B/2016 had been heard and determined at the Court of Appeal Abuja on 18/8/2016 while my appeal ,CA/OW/190/2016 is still being delayed and pending at the Court of Appeal, Owerri.
“In the alternative, I pray the Supreme Court to make an order directing the Panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal already set up to hear and determine the Appeal No.CA/OW/190/2016 between Sir Friday Nwosu vs. PDP & 3 ors to hear and determine the said Appeal expeditiously so that any appeal from their decision might be brought to the Supreme Court before the commencement of hearing in the Appeal Nos.SC/717/2016, SC/719/2016 and SC/739/2016 pending before the Supreme Court.”
He further stated that granting of the application by the Supreme Court, will ensure fair hearing as none of the parties in the four appeals who are still the same parties in the suit at Owerri,would suffer harm.
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