1 February 2013

Nigeria: Appeal Court Dismisses Echocho's Case Against Wada

The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed an appeal filed by Jibrin Isah Echocho challenging the nomination of Governor Idris Wada as the candidate of the People's Democratic Party for the December 3, 2011 governorship elections in the state.

In the lead judgment written by Justice Hussein Muktar and delivered by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson, the court held that the Federal High Court was right to have dismissed Echocho's suit and held that the trial court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.

It also pointed out that the court should have closed the matter at that stage by simply striking it out.

The court noted that further proceedings or orders made by the trial court is tantamount to a nullity in law.

Reacting to the ruling, Wada who spoke through his spokesman, Jacob Edi, hailed the judgment saying it has further strengthened his faith in the judiciary.

Echocho had dragged Wada to an Abuja Federal High Court asking it to declare him as the valid candidate of the PDP for the December 3rd elections on the grounds that he won the party's primary held on the 9th of January 2011 and that his name was forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the governorship candidate of the party for Kogi State.

But the lower court in its judgment of August 29, 2012 held that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

However, not satisfied, Echocho went to the Court of Appeal asking it to determine whether the lower court did not totally misapprehension the appellant's case by dismissing same on the reasons given for lack of jurisdiction.

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