Appeal Court fixes Oct. 28 to hear petition against Ekweremadu’s election

The Court of Appeal in Enugu on Friday, fixed Oct. 28, to hear a suit against former Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu.

The petition was filed by Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu of the All Progressives Congress (APC)in Feb. 23 Senatorial Election for Enugu West District.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the winner of the contest.

The State and National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Enugu had on Sept. 9, 2019 while delivering judgment in a petition by Ibekaku-Nwagwu affirmed Ekweremadu’s victory.

Ibekaku-Nwagwu approached the appellate court over alleged miscarriage of justice by the tribunal.
At the resumed hearing on Friday, counsel to the PDP, Mr A.A. Ani, SAN, told the panel that they had a preliminary objection to the appeal.
Ani urged the panel to strike out the grounds and issues mentioned on certain pages of the appeal.

The counsel, however, told the panel that there was an enrolled order of the previous panel handling the matter to hear the case on Oct. 28.

Ani said that they were surprised when the got text messages on Oct. 24, informing them that the hearing would be on Oct. 25.

However, counsel to the appellant, Mr K. Luke, while corroborating the submission of Ani, said that the appeal was not yet ripped for hearing.

Luke said that the briefs of the respondents including the preliminary objection was served on them on Oct. 24.

The counsel said that they needed to be given time to file their written reply.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice I. M. Saluwa, who had insisted on going ahead with the matter after consulting with members of the panel adjourned until Oct. 28.

Saluwa urged parties in the matter to file all their briefs incorporating their arguments.

The justice said that the panel was a visiting one and had the authority to abridge the time for hearing under Order 10 Rule 1 of the court.

Saluwa said that they would be proceeding to other divisions including Calabar and Adamawa to hear appeals emanating from the 2019 general elections. 

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