By Mazino Dickson
The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi as the winner of the Peoples Democratic Party primary held on Oct. 2, 2018 for the Delta North Senatorial District and therefore duly elected on Feb. 23, 2019.
The five-man panel of Justices lead by Justice John Okoro dismissed the two suits filed by Chief Ned Nwoko for lack of jurisdiction.
In a unanimous decision, the apex court held that the originating summons filed by Nwoko on Dec. 11, 2018 at the Federal High Abuja was incompetent and that the trial court judge was therefore in error as the incompetent process had robbed the court of its jurisdiction.
”The originating summons is incompetent; judgment of the trial court is without jurisdiction’’.
”This court has raised the issue of jurisdiction suo moto (on its own) in the light of section 295(8) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) as to when the cause of action arose,’’ Justice Okoro said in the judgment.
The appellant and indeed all parties agreed that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) declared Sen. Nwaoboshi winner of the primary election on Oct. 2, 2018 and that the declaration set off the action taken by the appellant.
“Nwoko was already aggrieved on Oct. 2, 2018 when the result was announced,’’ Justice Okoro held.
He said that the argument by Nwoko ‘s lawyer that the cause of action was a continuous injury did not fly at all in the light of the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution.
The amendment provides that pre-election matters should be filed within 14 days when the action, event and decision took place.
It will be recalled that Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, granted the relief sought and declared Nwoko as senator -elect for Delta North district.
Sen. Nwaoboshi subsequently approached the Court of Appeal and lodged an appeal which ruled in his favour.