Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Supreme Court has sacked Hon. Victor Uzoma Chukwu, the Majority Leader of Ebonyi State House of Assembly as the All Progressives Congress, APC, Candidate for Ezza North West State Constituency of Ebonyi State, in the March 18, 2023 general election.
The Apex Court declared Barr. Leonard Nweke Igboke as the duly nominated House of Assembly Candidate of APC in Ezza North West State Constituency of Ebonyi State
Barr. Leonard Nweke Igboke had won the APC Primary election conducted on 26/5/2022 and was the nominated candidate of APC, but his name was wrongfully omitted in the lists of Candidates published by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on 22/7/2022, which led to the case filed at the Federal High Court, Abakaliki on 3/8/2022.
The Federal High Court had on 9/12/2022 delivered its judgment in which it ordered INEC to delete the name of Hon. Victor Uzoma Chukwu from its record and portal, adding that it should enter and publish Barr. Leonard Nweke Igboke and his particulars in its record and portal forthwith.
Not satisfied with the ruling, Hon. Victor Uzoma Chukwu on 26/12/2022 appealed against the decision of the Federal High Court at the Court of Appeal, Enugu.
The Court of Appeal on 25/1/2023 delivered its judgment in favour of Hon. Victor Uzoma Chukwu and set aside the decision of the Federal High Court, Abakaliki, hence the appeal filed at the Supreme Court by Barr. Leonard Nweke Igboke on 9/2/2023 and the Judgment delivered on 9/3/2023 by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court after reviewing the case presented, found and held that the Court of Appeal Enugu did not wholly consider and correctly evaluate the totality of the unchallenged admissible evidence and exhibits presented and tendered at the Federal High Court by Barr. Leonard Nweke Igboke.
The Supreme Court frowned at the way and manner the Court of Appeal misconceived the case, which Igboke had presented before the Court.
The Court also expressed displeasure at the way the Court of Appeal imported extraneous fact outside the record in reaching its decision.
The Supreme Court further frowned at the refusal of the Court of Appeal to apply relevant principles of Law and Judicial authorities and concluded that the Court of Appeal was not correct and justified in setting aside the Judgment of the Federal High Court and then affirmed and restored the Judgment of the Federal High Court in it’s entirety.
Delivering the judgment at the Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Mohammadu Lawal Garba JSC, who led the five man Panel of Justices of the Supreme Court set aside the Judgment of the Court of Appeal Enugu in its entirety and restored the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court, Abakaliki.
The ruling was on the ground that the Court of Appeal, Enugu erred in Law and misconceived the case made and presented at the Federal High Court, Abakaliki, by the Appellant.
With this Supreme Court judgment, Barr. Leonard Nweke Igboke, is the authentic APC candidate for Ezza North West State Constituency of Ebonyi State, in the Match 18th, 2023 general election.
Reacting to his victory at the Supreme court, Barr. Leonard Nweke Igboke said: “I thank the Learned Justices of the Supreme Court for the erudite final Judgment. This is a Victory for Democracy and restoration of the Mandate unanimously given to me by the good people of my constituency.
“I am indebted to and sincerely thank the Almighty God, my Legal Team, the good people of my Community and the dependable people of my Constituency for their continual prayers, supports, encouragements and backing before and after the Primary election cum legal fireworks.
“I extend hands of fellowship to all men of goodwill, including the House Leader, Rt. Hon. Victor Uzoma Chukwu (Inyadime) and his supporters. it is Our collective victory and our mandate.