By Atevure Princess,
…Judgement renews my faith in our country -Waive
The Supreme Court toady dismissed appeal filed by the embattled All Progressive Congress, (APC) House of Representative aspirant Mr Julius Efeni Akpovoka challenging the candidature of Hon. (Rev.) Francis Ejiroghene Waive describing it as an abuse of court process.
Akpovoka, who is one of the aspirants who lost the Hon. Waive, House of Representative member, representing Ughelli North, Ughelli south and Udu federal constituency had allegedly forged documents stating that Waive withdrew from the race and should be declared as the party candidate.
His efforts to get party leadership subvert justice failed and not satisfied, in what some party leaders have termed acts of desperation, Akpovoka approached 3 federal High courts and 2 states High Courts with similar reliefs, but had all his cases dismissed, while others were struck out for lacks of merit.
He later approached the Supreme Court in suit No: Sc/957/2019 challenged the judgment of Court of Appeal Benin Division which had earlier dismissed his suit, holding that it was statute barred and abuse of court process.
However, the learned Justices of Supreme Court in a unanimous landmark judgment affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Benin declaring the suit as statute barred, and dismissed the case.
In arriving at its judgement, the Supreme Court drew the attention of Akpovoka’s lawyer to the erudite and sound judgment of the Court of Appeal, which holds that the case was statute barred.
The Supreme Court counted the 14 days from that date of the party primaries and concluded that the Court of Appeal was too generous to count it in the manner they did.
It further held that “the case was an abuse of court processes having filed multiple cases on the same subject matter.”
It also affirmed that the alleged “letter of withdrawal been paraded by Akpovoka was completely false.”
Meanwhile, when Akpovoka’s lawyer was asked to see page 178 of the record of the Court of Appeal, he told court that he has lost his bag with the record in it.
The court went on to admonish him saying that all his scheming has eventually caught up with him.
The court then asked him to withdraw the motion to abridge time as well as withdraw the substantive appeal, and the appeal was consequently dismissed.
Reacting to the judgement, Hon. Francis Wavie applauded the courage of the Supreme Court justices, adding that the judgment has rekindled his faith in Nigeria.
According to him, “this judgement renews my faith in our country. What was happening was gross abuse of the judicial process and I wondered who will call a spade by its name.
“Our Supreme Court Justices are bold, courageous and fair. I salute them all.
“Permit me to also inform everyone that the 2019 elections are over. Let’s concentrate on bringing good governance and the dividends of Democracy to our people.
“I again commit myself making the difference for the betterment of my constituents,” he added.