The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday struck out an appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the ruling of the Justice Chiwendu Nworgu of the Rivers State High Court which annulled its wards, local governments and state congresses.
The Court of Appeal had on the 12th of December, 2018, struck out the same appeal against the State High Court decision for filing out of the stipulated time in the constitution.
However, the party on the Tuesday, 15th January, re-approached court of appeal challenging the ruling of the same court, stressing that the lower court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter on the first instance.
But, the visiting Appeal Court panel constituted to handle the matter, struck it out, stressing that it was a pre-election matter.
Delivering the judgement on behalf of the panel, at about 7:00pm yesterday, Justice C.N. Uwa noted that the matter which the lower court handled was a pre-election and ought to have been appealed and disposed off within 60 days after the judgement of the lower court.
Uwa noted that its hands were tied to go into the substantive case.
Uwa said: “This is a pre-election matter. It has earlier been held by this same court in an appeal of the substantive matter: This court cannot sit against itself on the same matter.
“The appeal is fundamentally defective. The court cannot go into the matter, as doing so will amount to an effort in futility.
“It is unnecessary to continue on an appeal no matter the merit, which this court has held as status bound. It would be an effort in futility to continue. This appeal is hereby struck out”
The spokesman of the APC in the state, Chris Finebone, explained that the judgement has nothing to do with the latest appeal filed by the party against the January 7 judgement of Justice James Kolawole Omotoso of the Port Harcourt Federal High Court.
Finebone said the apeal and the stay of execution filed against the latest judgment was yet to be heard.
He said: “Be informed that our appeal of the federal high court judgment and our accompanying Stay of Execution application are yet to be heard. Today’s matter was same matter that was earlier dismissed by the Appeal Court on account of being time barred. Necessary rectifications were done and the appeal refilled but unfortunately struck out today.
However, all other matters/appeals including the Stay of Execution of the federal high court judgment will still come up for hearing.
“This is to correct the erroneous impression that all windows for APC to present candidates for the 2019 elections have been shut. Far from it! All party faithful should remain calm and prayerful as ultimate.
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