By Eseoghene Emuke
The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck out the case filed by Chief Julius Akpovoka challenging the candidacy of the member representing Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Rev. Francis Ejiroghene Waive, in the 2019 general elections.
The apex court, while affirming the candidature of Waive for the 2019 general elections on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), described the appeal filed by Akpovoka as an abuse of court process which shouldn’t have been mentioned in the first instance.
Akpovoka, one of the aspirants for the APC primary for House of Representatives in the last general elections but lost to Waive, had approached the court seeking to be declared winner over a forged document indicating that the Rep member had withdrawn from the race.
The Ughelli chief in suit No. Sc/957/2019 had also asked the court to set aside the judgements of the Federal High Court, Asaba, and the Court of Appeal, Benin, Edo State, dismissing his case against Waive as the authentic winner of the party’s ticket.
But the Supreme Court judges in their unanimous judgement while striking out Akpovoka’s appeal declared that the case was statute barred since the appellant failed to approached the court from the day the primary was conducted thus lacking in merit.
While reading out their final ruling on the case, the Supreme Court drew the attention of Akpovoka’s lawyer to the erudite and sound judgment of the Court of Appeal, that the case was statute barred, and was happy that the case was entertained by the Appeal Court judges.
It counted the 14 days of the action and concluded that the Court of Appeal was too generous to count it in the manner they did.
The learned judges held that, “the case was an abuse of court processes having filed multiple cases on the same subject matter. The letter of withdrawal being paraded by Akpovoka (appellant) is completely false.”
Meanwhile, Rev. Waive has reacted to the Supreme Court judgement, declaring it as interterm with the will and mandate freely given to him by the good people of Ughelli South, Ughelli North and Udu Federal Constituency in the 2019 general elections.
A statement personally signed by the federal lawmaker and made available to WARRI TODAY, applauded the courage of the Supreme Court justices for what he described as sound ruling
He added that the judgment had also rekindled his faith in the nation’s judiciary.
It read, “This judgement renews my faith in our country. What was happening was gross abuse of the judicial process and I wondered who will call a spade by its name.
“Our Supreme Court Justices are bold, courageous and fair. I salute them all.”
Waive further stated that with the dismissal of the case challenging his victory, he would now concentrate on the mandate of bringing development and dividend of democracy to his constituents.
“Permit me to also inform everyone that the 2019 elections are over. Let’s concentrate on bringing good governance and the dividends of Democracy to our people.
“I again commit myself making the difference for the betterment of my constituents”, he added.