Igbeke's case against Senator Okadigbo thrown out


Nnamdi Felix / Abuja

Senator Margery Okadigbo, wife of late former Senate President,Chief Chuba Okadigbo, on Friday floored Senator Alphonsus Uba Igbeke at the Supreme Court over the legal battle dogging the contest for Anambra North senatorial district.

The Court of Appeal had in July, 2012 declared Lady Okadigbo as the validly nominated flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party and winner of the senatorial election to represent Anambra North in the Upper Legislative Chamber.

The apex court in a judgment delivered Friday, held that Senator Igbeke has not used the process of the court in good faith and that his appeal amounted to inviting the court on appeal against its earlier decision where the court declared Lady Margrey winner of that election.

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In the lead judgment read by Justice Suleiman Galadima the court held that “in the instant appeal SC/179/2012 the appellant’s issue set out in paragraph 30.0 PP.11-12 of his brief distilled from the grounds of appeal are identical to those in appeal SC/69/2012 and are therefore substantially the same. The suit which culminated into both appeal SC 179/2012 begun at the trial Federal High Court and the subject matter, parties as well as the cause of action were the same right from the Federal High Court through to the Court of Appeal up to this court.

The court berated Igbeke for standing by in an earlier appeal filed by another contender for the position, Prince John Okechukwu Emeka, and apparently sttod by for that contender to fight the battle for him. It therefore held that having done that he should be bound by the outcome of that case and cannot be allowed to reopen the case.

“There must be an end to litigation. By this appeal SC.179/2012 the appellant seeks to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal and in its stead restore the judgment if the Federal High Court Abuja. This issue had been decided and the principle of estoppel clearly applies to this appeal against the appellant having regard to the decision of this court in SC.69/2012 delivered on 6th July 2012, in which the present appellant, as a respondent canvassed similar issues to the ones he has been urging this court in this appeal” the court held.

Consequently, the court concluded that in the light if the foregoing, that the preliminary objection filed by Lady Okadigbo is sustainable and thereby sustained. While Igbeke’s was found to be abuse of court process and was adjudged unimaginable and an academic exercise, speculative and hypothetical and accordingly dismissed the appeal and award costs of N100,000 against Igbeke in favour of Margery Okadigbo.

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