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HON. CHRIS AZUBUOGU v. HON. (DR) HARRY N. ORANEZI & ORS

(2017) LPELR-42669(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Wednesday, the 12th day of July, 2017

SC.279/2016


Before Their Lordships

WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

OLABODE RHODES-VIVOUR Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

HON. CHRIS AZUBUOGU - Appellant(s)

AND

1. HON. (DR) HARRY N. ORANEZI
2. PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY
ALHAJI A. ADAMU MUAZU
(National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party and Chairman of National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of Peoples Democratic Party)
4. PROF WALE OLADIPO
(National Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party)
5. HON. JULIUS OFFORMAH
6. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION - Respondent(s)


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Electoral Matter.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division.

The 1st respondent herein, Hon Dr. Harry Oranezi, as Plaintiff at the Federal High Court sitting at Awka, initiated suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/24/2015 against the appellant and five others as defendants seeking, on the basis of votes he avers in his writ to have scored in the 2nd respondent's primary election conducted on the 7th December, 2014, declaratory and injunctive reliefs to the effect that he is the party's candidate for the Nwewi North/South/Ekwusigo Federal House of Representatives Constituency in the Federal House of Representative election scheduled for 14th February, 2015. He is entitled to the reliefs, he further asserts, by virtue of Section 87(a) (c) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) as well as 2nd respondent's Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014.
In its ruling delivered on 19th March 2015, the trial Court sustained the objections of the defendants to the competence of the suit, declined jurisdiction and struck out 1st respondent's suit.
Aggrieved, the 1st respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal whereat, in upholding the appeal and setting aside the trial Court's ruling, the suit was remitted to the trial Court for same to be heard and determined by a Judge other than M. L. Abubakar J.
Dissatisfied with the lower Court's judgment, the appellant has appealed to the Supreme Court.


ISSUES:
The appeal was decided on the Appellant's 3rd issue viz:

"3 Whether the Court of Appeal was right in holding that the 1st Respondent's case can be founded within Section 87(4c) and 9 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended Grounds THREE, FOUR, FIVE AND SIX OF THE GROUNDS OF APPEAL)".


DECISION/HELD:
The appeal was dismissed and the judgment of the Court of Appeal was affirmed.


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