The Court of Appeal sitting at Abuja earlier today struck out motion by former Governor Gabriel Suswam, seeking to stop the appellate court from entertaining interlocutory appeal by Senator Emmanuel Udende, Benue North East (APC).
Senator Udende filed the Notice of Appeal, after the National/State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting at Makurdi, set aside its own ruling foreclosing Suswam from further calling witnesses in his petition. The ruling was delivered by Chairman of the panel, Honourable Justice Ory Zik-Ikeorha, on 17th July, 2023.
When the appeal came up today, Suswam’s lawyers moved the appellate court vide a counter motion that Sen Udende and APC should not be heard because the appeal is overtaken by events and as such academic.
“We said no and the court agreed with us. They therefore, withdrew their motion and it was struck out,” Innocent Daagba, Esq, who appeared for APC told me on phone.
It could be recalled that Suswam was foreclosed from further calling witnesses on the ground that the five weeks allowed him had elapse. He had call eight witnesses at the time the petition was set down for adoption of final written addresses.
“We were ready to adopt addresses when Suswam and his lawyers brought a motion that they be heard. We argued that the Tribunal cannot sit over it’s own ruling. Very strangely, the Tribunal says it has the powers,” Daagba went on.
The appeal was argued and judgment is reserved, Daagba noted.