*Says Lower Court Lacks Jurisdiction
*Originating Summons Not Signed By Counsel
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on Thursday nullified the judgment of an Abuja High Court which had removed Senator Ifeanyi Ubah as the Senator representing Anambra South for being a nullity.
The court subsequently set aside the judgment of the High Court Of the Federal Capital Territory presided over by Justice Bello Kawu and dismissed the entire proceedings for being incompetent.
A three man panel of Justices of the appellate court in a unanimous judgment held that the judgment delivered by Justice Bello Kawu of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was a nullity because the suit was unlawfully instituted because it did not comply with any known law.
According to Justice Stephen Adah who read the lead judgment there was clear evidence that the originating summons was not signed by counsel to the plaintiff which was fatal to the case as the unsigned originating summons make the process as a worthless paper.
According to him “the rules of the lower court makes it mandatory that the originating summons must be signed by a counsel and failure to sign it, is fatal, in the instant case the originating summons was not signed by the counsel an unsigned originating summons is a worthless piece of paper, an incompetent originating summons does not activate the jurisdiction of the court. A void judgment is a judgment that has nothing to offer anybody and it stands therefore to reason that the judgment is non existent as there is nothing the lower court which gave a judgment that cannot confer any benefit to anybody and as the court cannot be functus officio.
Justice Stephen Adah said “ the Judgment of The Justice Bello is set aside for lack of jurisdiction and fair hearing.
Justice Adah also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Assembly from taking any steps or given effect to the judgment of the lower court. A perpetual injunction is hereby ordered restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission from tampering with the Certificate Of Return issued to Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.
The Court also awarded cost of N250,000 against the 1st and fourth respondent in the case to be paid by the plaintiff Anani Anacletus Chuka and 4th respondent in the Appeal Obinna Uzor to Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.