THE COURT of Appeal, Abuja Thursday struck out a motion by former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, seeking to stop the appellate court from entertaining interlocutory appeal by Senator Emmanuel Udende, (APC Benue North East).
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 on Thursday, Suswam’s lawyers moved in the appellate court vide a counter motion that Sen Udende and APC should not be heard because the appeal was overtaken by events and as such academic.
However, the APC lawyers opposed the motion and the court agreed with them and Suswam’s motion was therefore struck out.
It could be recalled that Suswam was foreclosed from further calling witnesses on the grounds that the five weeks allowed him had elapsed. He had called 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 its own ruling. Very strangely, the Tribunal said it has the powers”, Innocent Daagba, Esq,, APC counsel said.
It could be recalled that the tribunal recently nullified the election of Senator Emmanuel Udende (APC Benue North East) and declared Gabriel Suswam winner. Udende then appealed the judgment of the tribunal.
According to the APC counsel, the appeal has been argued and awaiting judgment.