The Court of Appeal, Owerri division, in a unanimous ruling, on Tuesday, struck out a motion for leave to appear as an interested party, filed by Dr Uche Ogah to challenge the judgment of the High Court of Abia State, in suit No HUM-31-2022: High Chief Ikechi Emenike VS APC and 2 Ors, delivered on June 24, 2022, in favour of Emenike.
High Chief Emenike approached the Abia State High Court in the afoesaid suit for the determination of whether having emerged as the candidate of APC in the primary election conducted by the party on May 26, 2022, the party can refuse to submit his name to INEC as the candidate of the party, and whether INEC upon the party submiting or uploading his name in her portal can decline to publish his name as the candidate of APC for the 2023 governorship election in Abia State among other issues.
The Abia State High Court in the said judgment ruled in favour Emenike, and mandated APC to submit his name to the INEC and for the commission to upload his name in INEC”s portal as APC candidate.
The court also compelled INEC to accept his name as uploaded, publish same as the candidate of APC for the 2023 governorship election in Abia State.
The court above all,
restrained INEC from accepting or publishing the name of any other person as the candidate of APC in the said election other than Emenike.
Uche Ogah, who was not a party to the suit at the trial court and who did not participate in the primary election of APC that produced Emenike, approached the Court of Appeal in CA-OW-243M-2022, with a motion on notice for leave to appeal against the said judgment as an interested party.
The legal team of Emenike and APC opposed the motion on grounds that the Court of Appeal lacks the jurisdiction to hear and determine same in that the motion was filed outside 14 days period stipulated in Section 285 (11) of the 1999 constutution as amended for filing of an appeal in pre election cases.
The Court of Appeal upheld the preliminary objection against the motion and ruled that:
“The motion for leave filed by Uche Ogah as the Applicant was filed out of time (14) days as provided for and by Section 285(11) of the constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and accordingly incompetent.
The motion was struck out for want of jurisdiction or vires.