THE Supreme Court of Nigeria on Thursday, October 29, upheld the victory of Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the April 11 gubernatorial election held in the state.
The seven-man panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice John Fabiyi, held that the challenge by Emeka Ihedioha, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to Okorocha’s election lacked merit.
In its judgment, the court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Owerri to the effect that Ihedioha’s failure to properly serve Okorocha and the APC, with the notice of appeal had robbed the appeal court jurisdiction to hear the case.
In the lead judgment read by Justice Iyang Okoro, the court held that the Court of Appeal was right to have granted the preliminary objection raised against the service of notice of appeal by Okorocha. “Although the court is not a slave to its rule, it is the duty of the court to ensure that its rules are obeyed,” Okoro said.
The Supreme Court also held that failure to indicate the addresses of other respondents on the processes of the appeal was fatal to the case.
In conclusion, Justice Okoro declared: “On the whole, there is no merit in this appeal at all. Accordingly, it is hereby dismissed by me. Thus the judgment of the lower court (Court of Appeal) in Owerri delivered on September 3, 2015, which struck out the appeal of the appellant is hereby affirmed. Parties are to bear their respective costs.”
— Nov 9, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT