The leadership of the African Action Congress (AAC) has recorded significant progress and successes in the ongoing litigation and legal battles at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division.
The party on Thursday got approval at the Court to challenge the High Court judgment. Its application, argued by Inibehe Effiong, was heard.
The court also granted all the reliefs sought by the National Chairman of the party, Omoyele Sowore.
The three-member panel of Justices thereafter gave Sowore 21 days to file a Notice of Appeal.
In his proposed grounds of Appeal, Sowore is asking the Appeal Court to set aside the judgment of the FCT High Court delivered by Justice Binta Muhammed on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, breach of fair hearing, and improper evaluation of evidence.
The Court fixed October 19, 2021, to hear an appeal marked CA/A/812//2019 filed by Sowore and the Deputy National Chairman, Dr Malcolm Fabiyi against another judgment obtained by the expelled National Secretary of the party, Leonard Nzenwa, from the Federal High Court and presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo.
The AAC, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Femi Adeyeye, said Justice Ekwo in the judgment had declined to consider the robust legal defence of Sowore and Fabiyi which exposed the fraudulent and forged documents used by Nzenwa in the court because they did not personally swear to their affidavit.
It said, “However, in the appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, the party’s National Legal Adviser, Effiong raised several grounds of appeal against the judgment, including that the Federal High Court had no jurisdiction over the intra-party matter and that Sowore and Fabiyi were denied a fair hearing because Justice Ekwo did not give them the opportunity to be heard before reaching a decision on the issue of the affidavit.
“Effiong is also contending that under the law, a litigant has the right to have someone depose to an affidavit on his behalf as decided in many cases by both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal and that the High Court was wrong in law to have held otherwise.
“The Legal Adviser also argued that there was no credible evidence to support the claim of Nzenwa that Sowore had been suspended for six months.”
On June 19, 2019, the expelled National Secretary of the party, Leonard Nzenwa was alleged to have secretly obtained a judgment from the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to the effect that Sowore had been suspended as the National Chairman of the AAC along with his Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Malcom Fabiyi.
It was said that in the case, neither Sowore, AAC nor INEC was joined as a party to the suit, while the High Court entered judgment against Sowore.
Sowore claimed that the said judgement was used by Leonard and his sponsors to truncate the petition filed by the party’s candidate in the 2019 Rivers State governorship election against the reelection of Governor Nyesom Wike.
Reacting to the judgment, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the AAC met in Abuja and directed the National Legal Adviser of the party, Inibehe Effiong, to take steps to set aside the judgment.
“Accordingly, Effiong filed an application at the Court of Appeal in Abuja marked CA/A/87/M/2020 praying for leave (permission) to appeal against the judgment of the FCT High Court as an interested party.
“After over a year and six months, owing to the restrictions caused by the infamous COVID-19 and the eventual JUSUN (Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria) strike, the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday, 8th July 2021 finally heard the case,” it said.
The leadership of the party, led by its Chairman, Sowore has expressed confidence that it shall win the legal battles.
It noted that the case is to rescue the party from impostors who are using its name – AAC – in connivance with compromised elements in INEC for sinister political agenda and selfish purposes.
SaharaReporters, New York