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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Benue House of Reps tussle: Aida Nath Ogwuche heads to Supreme Court, appeals for stay of execution

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Winner of the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu Federal Constituency of Benue State, Hon. Barr. Aida Nath Ogwuche proceeded to the Supreme Court to appeal against the judgment stopping her candidacy.

Ogwuche filed a notice of appeal on the 13th day of January, 2023.

Aida Nath Ogwuche

Accompanying the notice of appeal was a motion seeking a stay of execution of the said judgment stopping her candidacy in the forthcoming election, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal at the supreme court.

In the said motion cited by our correspondent, there were reliefs restraining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from honouring the judgment in favour of Mr. Francis Ottah, hence an appeal had been successfully filed.

As it is the practice with legal procedure, both the Notice of Appeal and motion for Stay of Execution will be communicated by lawyers to the INEC and PDP by lawyers to the Appellant so as to stay or in ordinary parlance “suspend” any intended enforcement of the judgement of the court of appeal.

It was gathered that to that effect, the process of transmission of the records of appeal to the supreme court and the eventual entry of the appeal were almost completed and once done, the supreme court will assume full Jurisdiction and parties in the appeal will have to maintain status quo, that is remain “stand still” pending the outcome of the appeal.

It is, however, not clear yet if Aida Nath Ogwuche will go into the election as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

However, if despite being served with the Notice of Appeal and the application for stay of execution, INEC still goes ahead to put Francis Ottah on the ballot, legal experts are of the view that the law is settled that such an action will amount to a nullity, as parties are expected to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the substantive appeal.

Meanwhile, legal experts have expressed strong views about the likely success of the appeal filed by Aida Nath Ogwuche to the supreme court considering that, the grounds of appeal have raised recondite issues of law and it remains to be seen who will be going to the election between Nath and Ottah.

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