Appeal Court president asked to review judgment sacking Senate minority whip

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The Coalition for Social Justice and Good Governance (CSJGG) has called on the President of the Court of Appeal to set up a panel to review the judgment in the Abia Central senatorial seat dispute.

The co-convener of the coalition, Ciroma Ahmed, made the call in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Mr Ciroma said the case was between Augustine Akobundu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Darlington Nwokocha of the Labour Party, the minority whip of the Senate.

He said the duo contested for the Abia Central senatorial district seat in the 2023 National Assembly elections. According to him, Mr Nwokocha emerged as the winner, with 92,116 votes.

Dissatisfied with the result, Mr Akobundu, who scored 41447 votes, sought judicial interpretation, going up to the Appeal Court, and judgment was delivered on Saturday evening by Justice Biobele A. Georgewill-led panel.

He said Mr Akobundu of the PDP was declared winner on the grounds that Mr Nwokocha was not qualified to contest the elections.

Mr Ciroma said in another case, related in context, content, character and point of law, Ginger Onwusibe of the Labour Party was affirmed the representative for Isi-ala Ngwa North/South federal constituency of Abia by the same Justice Georgewill’s panel.

Mr Onwusibe contested against Anthony Agbazuere of the PDP, who challenged the election outcome up to the appellate court.

The petition said, “First, the appeal panel members on this case were changed and reconstituted three consecutive times before Justice Georgewill from Rivers was posted to head the panel. In the light of the above, the coalition demands as follows: that the president, Court of Appeal, should immediately constitute a judicial review panel to examine the circumstances of the conflicting judgements.

“We call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to immediately convene an NJC meeting to address the numerous allegations against judicial officials. This is to restore the public confidence, especially the people of Abia, in the judiciary as the last hope of the people.”

The coalition demanded details of the judgment be made public, saying that they will embark on massive protests to call out the Justice if their demands are not met.