Dissatisfied with the outcome of the Judgement of Justice Helen Ogunwumiju led Five member Appeal Court Panel Of Justices which reversed the Judgement of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court,President Of Masters Energy Oil and Gas Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah has filed an Appeal at the Supreme Court.
It will be recalled that the Appeal court had held that the originating summons which led to the judgment that removed Ikpeazu was not properly constituted, and as such, the lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear it, and consequently, any decision that flowed from it was null and void.
Aside from not signing the originating summons, the court held that the suit filed by Dr. Samson Ogah did not disclose any cause of action because it was filed even before the appellant (Ikpeazu) submitted his documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Justice Shatta agreed with the counsel to the governor, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) that it was not the duty of the court to begin to search for the signatory to the originating summons to authenticate it as required by law.
The court also held that although the originating summons was later amended, an amended summons has no capacity to cure a defective and incurably bad originating summons being the foundation of the suit.
According to the appellate court, “the law has laid down principles by which a case can be instituted, but on the motion which led to this appeal, three people indicated themselves as lawyers and signed the document while the law states that only an identifiable legal practitioner can do so.”
The court ruled that it was not its business to embark on a voyage of helping a litigant decide who filed his case, and by so doing, the lower court erred in deciding for the litigants.
In another pronouncement by Justice Ogunwumiju, the appellate court held that Justice Abang raped democracy in his order that the INEC should issue a certificate of return to Ogah when there was no evidence of forgery or criminality against Ikpeazu.
According to the court, the judgment of Justice Abang was grossly erroneous because it was based on inadequacy of tax receipt that cannot be visited on the appellant.
“After reading through the judgment several times, I was amazed at how the trial judge arrived at his conclusion of perjury against the appellant when there was no evidence of forgery. To say the least, his findings are ridiculous.
“The judge must have sat in his chamber, unilaterally assessed and computed the tax of the appellant and came to the conclusion that he did not pay the required tax. But let me say that courts are not allowed to speculate as the trial judge has done in the instant case.
“In another breath, the trial judge spoke from both sides of his mouth when in one breath, he claimed that he based his findings on supply of false information and in another breadth, he came to the conclusion that the appellant in this matter committed perjury, even when there was no allegation of forgery and no allegation that he did not pay tax.”
The Appeal Court also held that the Federal High Court judge turned the head of the law upside down in his conclusion that it was the appellant that should bear the burden of proof on the allegation made by Ogah.
Dr Uche Ogah also filed an Application for Stay of Execution against the Judgement of the Court Of Appeal.
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