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Breaking: Again, S/Court Strikes Out Suit Challenging Wike’s Eligibility

The court held that the amendment granted outside the time allowed for the appellant to file his appeal, violated Paragraph 14(4) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.

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Supreme Court Seating in Port Harcourt has struck out a suit challenging eligibility of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State after his run in the last governorship election in State.

Five-man panel of the Supreme Court, in two unanimous judgments, on Monday morning, upheld two appeals by Wike, with which he challenged the leave granted to Elvis Chinda by the Court of Appeal.

Chinda, in a suit he filed before the Federal High Court, challenged, among others, the authenticity of the birth certificate submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and prayed the court to disqualify Wike from contesting the last governorship election.

Earlier this year, just before the governorship election in the State, the Federal High Court dismissed the suit, a decision Chinda appealed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

Chinda later discovered that his notice of appeal was wrongly addressed to the Federal High Court as against the Court of Appeal, and applied for leave to amend.

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Challenging aforesaid suits, Wike objected to the amendment sought by Chinda on the grounds that he applied to amend, outside the time allowed by law for him to appeal the judgement of the Federal High Court.

The Court of Appeal disregarded Wike’s objection and granted the amendment sought by Chinda, a decision Wike appealed before the Supreme Court in two appeals marked: SC/606/2019 and SC/607/2019.

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, In its lead judgment, as read by Justice Paul Galumje, the Supreme Court set aside the leave granted Chinda by the Court of Appeal to amend his notice of appeal.

The court held that the amendment granted outside the time allowed for the appellant to file his appeal, violated Paragraph 14(4) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.

The Supreme Court, therefore, allow both appeals filed by Wike and struck out the notice of appeal filed by Chinda before the Court of Appeal, which it said was defective.

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