… adjourns for judgement in PDP’s appeal
By David Mzer
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, Tuesday dismissed the cross appeal filed by Hyacinth Alia, against the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its governorship candidate in Benue State, Rt Hon Titus Uba.
The Court dismissed Alia’s appeal while ruling on an application to withdraw the cross appeal, filed by by counsel to Alia, S.I Ameh, SAN, after the court in a unanimous ruling dismissed the motion by Alia, seeking leave of court to transmit additional records of appeal to the registry of the Court.
Alia, who was sacked as APC gubernatorial candidate in Benue State by the the Makurdi Division of Court of Appeal on January 23, 2023, had filed the cross appeal challenging the locus standi of the PDP and Rt. Hon Uba to institute the appeal.
He filed a motion, seeking leave of court to transmit additional records into the registry of the Court of Appeal an rely on same record of appeal in the prosecution of his cross appeal.
Alia was also seeking leave of court to rely on the records of appeal already compiled and transmitted to the registry of the Court.
Counsel to the PDP and Rt. Hon Uba, Sebastine Hon, SAN, in his vehement opposition to the application filed a 4-paragraph counter affidavit and written address and urged the court not to grant the application.
Ruling on the motion, the thee-man of Justices led by Justice Stephen Adah in a unanimous decision dismissed the motion for lacking in merit.
The Court held that it was the responsibility of Alia to transmit records of appeal to the registry for his cross appeal and not the responsibility of the PDP or Uba.
The Court ruled that it has no authorization to extend the time to file records of appeal and held that records transmitted out of time are incompetent.
The appellate court questioned while a cross appellant will file a cross appeal and abandon it.
After the dismissal of Alia’s motion, counsel to Alia, S.I Ameh, SAN, informed the court that since the motion to file additional records of appeal to the registry of the Court has failed, there was nothing to support the cross appeal.
He made an oral application to withdraw the cross appeal.
No party in the matter opposed his application.
The Court accordingly dismissed the cross appeal challenging the locus standi of the PDP and Uba to institute the appeal.
The Court then proceeded to the hearing of the main appeal, filed by the PDP and Uba.
Parties in the appeal all adopted their written processes, filed before the court.
Adopting his processes, counsel to the PDP and Uba, Hon, SAN, urged the court to grant the appeal, adding that there was no cross appeal challenging the locus standi of the PDP and Uba to institute the appeal.
Counsel to the APC, Fidelis Mnyim, counsel to Alia, S.I Ameh, SAN, counsel to Bernard Yisa, Jerry Aondo, that of Godwin Ityoachimin, Emmanuel Argwungwu and the other parties in the matter urged the court to dismiss the appeal.
After listening to the submissions of counsels in the matter, the court adjourned for judgement on a date to be communicated to the parties.
Still in the same court, the court adjourned for judgement in the appeal filed by the PDP, Senator Gabriel Suswam, Governor Samuel Ortom and Senator Patrick Abba Moro, against the judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which dismissed the suit by the appellants, seeking to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from accepting names of Senatorial candidates from the APC in Benue State.