APC supporters vow to go to supreme court over governorship poll in Enugu
State Secretary stated that Nnaji’s legal team and his supporters case was dismissed unfairly and prematurely, denying them the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence in support of their claims.
This is contained in a statement signed by the state Secretary of the party, Mr Robert Ngwu, in Enugu on Wednesday, July 18, 2023 in which he expressed dismay over the dismissal of Nnaji’s election petition by the Appeal court.
Ngwu said that tension flared on Tuesday, July 17, 2023 as the Court of Appeal in Enugu dismissed Nnaji’s appeal against Gov. Peter Mbah and six others in the March 18 governorship election.
He explained that supporters of the APC candidate expressed deep disappointment, saying that the case should have been allowed to proceed on its merits rather than being dismissed on procedural grounds.
The state secretary hinted that the appeal, which sought to challenge the qualifications of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and six others, was dismissed by the Enugu Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for premature filing, a decision that was later upheld by the Court of Appeal.
Ngwu said that Nnaji’s legal team and his supporters believed that the case was dismissed unfairly and prematurely, denying them the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence in support of their claims.
He, however, said that they asserted that the petition was validly filed within the designated timeframe, noting that any delays in serving the respondents should not have been attributed to them but to the court registry.
According to him, “Our legal officers have expressed concerns about the broader implications of the Court’s ruling. They argue that dismissing cases on procedural grounds rather than examining the substantive merits sets a worrisome precedent, potentially discouraging candidates from exercising their right to legal redress in future elections.
“The supporters have vowed to continue their fight for justice, indicating that they might explore other legal avenues to contest the Court of Appeal decision.
“Nnaji’s legal team has emphasized that they followed all prescribed procedures and timelines diligently. They maintained that their case has substantial merit and deserved a fair hearing.
“The dismissal, they argue, has left them disillusioned and raises questions about the impartiality of the judiciary, the aftermath of the Court of Appeal’s ruling has placed the judiciary under scrutiny, and calls for a thorough review of the judicial process in election-related cases.
“In a democracy that prides itself on the rule of law and fair legal processes, cases like this warrant close examination,” he said.
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