Appeal Court Upholds Stella Oduah’s Candidacy For PDP Anambra North
By Eneh Chigozie
The Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, on Monday, 30th September 2019, upheld the Judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Division which affirmed Senator Stella Oduah as the rightful candidate of the People’s Democratic Party [PDP] in the 23rd February, 2019 election for the senate of Anambra North.
The Plaintiff, Chimzobam Nnalue in the said Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/106/2019 had claimed that he won the primary election of the PDP and that it was wrong for the party to submit the name of Senator Oduah to the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] as Senator Oduah did not win the primaries.
The Federal High Court had struck out the case for lack of jurisdiction on the ground that it was statute barred having been filed more than 14 days from the date of the event complained of.
The Plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeal in CA/400/2019 and argued that he did not know that the name of Sen. Stella Oduah was submitted by PDP to INEC until INEC published names of candidates on 17th January 2019 and so his 14 days ought to start running from the date of the said publication.
In agreeing with counsel to Senator Oduah, Tobechukwu Nweke and counsel to PDP, Emmanuel Enoiden, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on the ground that the 14 days must run from the event complained of by the Plaintiff notwithstanding when the plaintiff claimed he became aware.
The court held that the Appellant’s cause of action accrued in October, 2018, and the Appellant waited until 25th January 2019 to institute the case contrary to the provisions of section 285(9) of the Constitution as altered by the Fourth Alteration.