The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the Lagos East Senatorial Bye-Election, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi, have filed an appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which dismissed their case against the All Progressive Congress and its candidate in the said election, Senator Tokunbo Abiru.
On the 1st of March, Hon. Justice Chuka Obiozor had ruled that the case of PDP and Gbadamosi did not disclose grounds for the disqualification of Senator Abiru.
In the notice of appeal containing nine grounds and particulars, filed by the law firm of Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, PDP and Gbadamosi are contending that the judge erred in law when it declined jurisdiction to entertain certain Issues in their claims and struck out same, on the ground that the reliefs sought are statute-barred.
They claimed further that the judge was wrong to have held that the case of the appellants was anchored on the nomination of Senator Abiru, whereas it was about statutory disqualification as envisaged under section 31 (5) of the Electoral Act, based on false information.
The appellants also claim that the judge was wrong in striking out the further affidavit of the appellants on the ground that they introduced new issues outside the 14 days allowed by law, whereas the said further affidavit only amplified facts that were already supplied in documents (FORM CF001) frontloaded along with the existing originating summons, especially in relation to the multiplicity of the names of Senator Abiru.
They maintained that under Order 27 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, the appellants were at liberty to file a further affidavit at anytime before the hearing of the originating summons.
In addition, PDP and Gbadamosi also faulted the judge for holding that the facts of the multiplicity and inconsistency of the names of Senator Abiru are at variance with the originating summons whereas Relief 12 of the said originating summons specifically sought for an order to disqualify him from contesting the bye-election.
The appellants specifically challenged the judgment on the ground that the judge ignored and did not follow the precedent set by the Supreme Court in the case of PDP v. Degi-Eremienyo, in relation to the Bayelsa State Governorship election.
The appellants, therefore, want the Court of Appeal to hold that the judge erred in failing to give a holistic and purposive interpretation to sections 71, 72 and 77 of the 1999 Constitution for the purpose of determining the eligibility of Senator Abiru to contest the bye-election.
They promised to file more grounds of appeal upon the receipt of the certified true copies of the judgment, urging the Court of Appeal to allow their appeal, set aside the judgment of the trial court, cancel the certificate of return issued by INEC to Senator Abiru and direct that same be issued to Gbadamosi, being the candidate that scored the second highest votes cast in the said bye-election.
Below is the complete grounds of appeal contained in the notice of appeal, which was filed at the Registry of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
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