Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, on Monday, told the Federal High Court, Abuja, how he received the news of alleged court judgment that purportedly ordered his dismissal as a senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obinna Uzoh, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, and his lawyer, Eziafa Enwedo, along three others, were arraigned by the Federal Government (FG) for allegedly using a forged originating summons and court processes to obtain a forged judgement from a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to unseat Sen. Ubah.
The three other defendants, who are presently at large in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/78/2020, are Anani Anacletus Chuka, Aroh Ifunanya and Faith Samuel.
Ubah, while giving his evidence-in-chief as 1st prosecution witness (PW1) in the case, told Justice Okon Abang that while he was about to get settled for the legislative work, he received the shocking news.
Although the forged judgment had since been set aside by the Supreme Court, Uzoh and Enwedo were docked, on July 2, on a six-count criminal charge.
The FG told the court that the defendants, by their action, committed an offence contrary to Section 3(b) of the miscellaneous offences Act Cap M17 Law’s Of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the same Act.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Testifying before the court on Monday, the lawmaker said he was elected as senator to represent his senatorial district in the 9th Senate in the 2019 General Election.
“My lord, I was the candidate of my party, the Young Progressive Party (YPP) in the election.
“I had my primary election witnessed by INEC and have my documents to back this up. I contested the election and won.
“I scored over 87, 000 votes against the candidate of PDP, Chief Chris Ubah, who scored 52, 000 votes and the 3rd candidate who was APGA candidate, Nicolas Ukachukwu, who scored 51, 000.
“Dr Andy Ubah, the candidate of APC, scored 14, 000 votes.
“My lord, I may not be accurate with the exact figures but it was within the range of my quotations,” he said.
Ubah said the name of Uzoh, the 2nd defendant in the suit, was neither mentioned in the election results declared by the electoral umpire as a candidate representing a party nor was any of his poster seeing in the senatorial district.
He said though the election victory was challenged by Chris Ubah of PDP before the High Court in Awka up to the Supreme Court, he won the case.
Besides, the lawmaker said his election victory was also challenged by Chris Ubah of PDP and Andy Ubah of APC at the election tribunal sitting in Akwa and at the Appeal Court but he won the suits.
“It is important for the court to know that these two people are brothers from the same family,” he added.
According to him, by the constitution and electoral act, this ended all legal battle.
“As I parked my luggage from court to assume my office, I met another legal ambush perpetrated by the 1st, 2nd defendants and others at large.
“I was faced with an application before INEC in Nov 2019 to issue a Certificate of Return to the 2nd defendant based on a judgment allegedly gotten before FCT High Court by one Hon Justice Kawu.
“It was the biggest surprise of my entire life as I had no iota of contest with the 2nd defendant,” he narrated.
Ubah said Uzoh did not participate in the senatorial political activities and the electoral process in Anambra South as a candidate.
“I was shocked to my marrow,” he said.
He said he consulted his legal team for defence.
“Eventually, we found ourselves appealed to the same judge, Hon Justice Kawu, for fair hearing.
“We notified the judge that we were not served the processes that culminated into the judgment of April 11, 2019, which was the purported judgment date.
“We looked at the court processes and discovered that the other defendants and some who ought to be defendants were also not in court e.g INEC, NECO, YPP and my good self.
“Even when we discovered in the court papers that there was a service on INEC and YPP, there was nothing to show that I was served.
Ironically, all the processes that were served on INEC during the alleged pendency of the suit were only acknowledged by same person in INEC, one Sule,” he remarked.
The lawmaker also said that all processes served on his parry, YPP, were acknowledged by unknown person with a fake stamp of the party.
“Nevertheless, we were prepared to proceed on the case but unfortunately, the court refused our application to give us a fair hearing.
“We had no option than to move to Court of Appeal.
“It was in Court of Appeal that we met justice through the grace of God almighty,” he said.
Ubah told the judge that Uzoh, Enwedo and other defendants in the suit had close ties.
Although counsel to 2nd defendant, B. C. Igwilo, SAN, prayed the court to stop the senator from continued his statement, arguing that the witness was precluded from given evidence on previous court proceedings, Afam Osigwe, counsel to the FG, disagreed with him.
Abang then overruled Igwilo describing his objection as “misconceived,” adding that going by Section 130(1) of the Evidence Act, Igwilo’s objection could only be applied in a civil matter where previous court proceedings can only be tendered in evidence and not in a criminal trial.
“In a criminal trial, a witness can say anything concerning what he heard, saw or observe,” he ruled.
NAN also observes that the bail application hearing for Uzoh was also taken by the judge.
Justice Abang, after listening to counsel in the suit, adjourned the bail ruling until July 7 while he adjourned trial continuation until July 9.