The Court of Appeal Division in Abuja has granted leave to Chief Victor Umeh and to appeal against the judgment of Justice Anwuli Chikere of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting a fresh election in Anambra Central Senatorial District.
Justice Chikere had on February 29, 2016 restrained INEC from conducting a fresh poll as ordered by an Appeal Court in Enugu on December 7, 2015, which had nullified the election of Uche Ekwunife of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the senatorial zone on the grounds that she was not properly nominated as the party’s flag bearer in the said election and ordered INEC to carry out a fresh poll within 90 days.
Consequently, Umeh who was the candidate of APGA in the election both applied to be joined as interested parties in the suit instituted by the PDP to compel INEC to include PDP in the fresh poll, but Justice Chikere declined his requests and went ahead to order the electoral umpire to include the PDP in the conduct of the re-run election.
Dissatisfied with the court’s decision, Umeh through his lawyer, Mr Patrick Ikweto (SAN), approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja through a motion on notice brought pursuant to Section 243 (1) (a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), seeking the following reliefs:
“An order granting the applicants/appellants leave to appeal as interested parties against the judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja Division (coram) Chikere J. delivered on 29/02/2016 in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/97/2016 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) V. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“An order deeming the notice of appeal dated 9/3/2016 and filed on 11/3/2016 against the said judgment as properly filed, the appropriate filing fees thereto having been paid,” among others.
Delivering its ruling on the application which had the PDP and INEC as respondents, the presiding Justice at the appellate court, Justice A.D. Yahaya, granted all the five reliefs that were sought by Umeh.