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Supreme Court Gives Final Judgement On Suit Challenging Wike’s Eligibility

…The Supreme Court struck out a suit filed by Elvis Chinda challenging Governor Wike's eligibility for Rivers 2019 governorship election

…Chinda, among others, queried the authenticity of birth certificate allegedly submitted to INEC and prayed the court to disqualify Wike

…The apex court upheld Wike's appeal to dismiss the suit after Chinda failed to amend the charges within the time allowed by law

The Supreme Court has struck out a suit challenging the eligibility of Governor Nyesom Wike for the 2019 governorship election in Rivers state.

In two unanimous judgments on Monday, July 15, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court upheld two appeals by Wike, with which he challenged the leave granted to Elvis Chinda by the Court of Appeal, The Nation reports.

Chinda had reportedly sued at the Federal High Court, querying, among others, the authenticity of birth certificate allegedly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and prayed the court to disqualify Wike from contesting the last governorship election.

In a judgement, earlier this year, the Federal High Court dismissed the suit, a decision Chinda appealed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

Finding out that his notice of appeal was wrongly addressed to the Federal High Court as against the Court of Appeal, Chinda later applied for leave to amend.

Wike objected to the amendment sought by Chinda, on the grounds that he applied to amend outside the time allowed by law for him to appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court.

The Court of Appeal, however, disregarded Wike’s objection and granted the amendment sought by Chinda, a decision wike appealed to the Supreme Court in two appeals marked: SC/606/2019 and SC/607/2019.

In its lead judgment, authored by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola but read by Justice Paul Galumje, the Supreme Court set aside the leave granted Chinda by the Court of Appeal to amend his notice of appeal.

The court held that the amendment, granted outside the time allowed for the appellant to file his appeal, violated Paragraph 14(4) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.

The Supreme Court then proceeded to allow both appeals filed by Wike and struck out the notice of appeal filed by Chinda before the Court of Appeal, saying it said was defective.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Rivers state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, dismissed petitions challenging the election of Governor Wike.

The three-man panel on Monday, July 8, said the pre-hearing motions filed by counsel for the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Engr. Awara Biokpomabo, and his party against Wike and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were incompetent.

The tribunal presided over by Justice K. A. Orjiako dismissed the petition on the ground that it was deemed abandoned on the ground of Paragraph 4 of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act.

Source: https://www.legit.ng/amp/1248874-elections-2019-supreme-court-strikes-suit-wikes-eligibility.html