By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
In a swift reaction, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Peoples Party, YPP, on Friday, lodged an appeal to challenge the judgement of an Abuja High Court that sacked him as the lawmaker representing Anambra South Senatorial District.
In the four-ground of appeal he filed before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, Ubah, insisted that he was denied fair hearing by the high court.
He told the appellate court that he was neither served with the Originating Processes nor hearing notice with respect to the suit that led to his sack from the Senate.
Besides, he argued that the Abuja court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to hear and determine a pre-election matter that arose from election that held in Anambra State.
The appeal came barely two hours after trial Justice Bello Kawu of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Kubwa, declined to set-aside his judgement that nullified Ubah’s election on the premise that he allegedly used a forged National Examination Council, NECO, certificate to contest the senatorial election that held in Anambra South on February 23, 2019.
The court went ahead and affirmed the order it made on April 11 last year, which directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the Certificate of Return it issued to Ubah and issue a fresh one to Dr. Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who came 2nd at the election.
Ubah had approached the court to set-aside the judgement which he insisted occasioned grave miscarriage of justice against him.
Following his application for stay of execution, Justice Kawu, on December 4, restrained the Senate President from swearing-in Uzoh, pending the hearing and determination of the motion challenging the verdict.
The court equally ordered all the parties, including the INEC to maintain status quo till it decides the merit in Ubah’s contention.
However, in a ruling on Friday, Justice Kawu held that Senator Ubah’s application to vacate its judgement lacked merit and accordingly dismissed it.
Justice Kawu said he was satisfied that Ubah was duly served with all the relevant court processes via substituted means.
He equally dismissed a motion another claimant to the PDP senatorial ticket, Chief Chris Uba, filed to be joined as an interested party in the substantive suit marked CV/3044/2018, which was filed before the court by an electorate in the state, Mr. Anani Chuka.
However, in the appeal he filed through his team of lawyers led by Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, Ubah, argued that for the jurisdiction of the trial court to be properly invoked, he must be served with the relevant court processes.