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The Enugu state Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidates tussle has taken another turn as an Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Friday dismissed the application of Chijioke Edeoga, a 2023 Labour Party (LP) governorship aspirant in Enugu state seeking to be joined as an interested party in the case instituted by Captain Everest Nnaji which removed him as the candidate of the Labour Party.

The Appellate Court in its judgement on Friday, December 30th, 2022 in concurrent agreement by a 3-man panel of judges led by Justice Zama Senchi, ruled that Edeoga’s application was incompetent and constitutionally time barred in view of section 285(11) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

The judge said the court’s ruling was based on the fact that Chijioke Edeoga’s application was made on December 2nd, 2022, which is a period of 10 days outside section 205 of the Electoral Act which stated that Appeals on such matter should be made within 14 days of the initial judgement which was, in this case, delivered on Wednesday November 9, 2022.

The judge added that no court in Nigeria has power to grant the prayer of Edeoga, in the sense that his appeal did not comply with the requisite time limit provided by the extant Electoral law.

He specifically stated in the ruling that Edeoga brought his application 10 days later after the 14 days period allowed by the electoral law had elapsed. The application, according to the court, is coming 24 days after the appropriate period allowed by law, which makes Edeoga’s prayer statute barred and therefore incompetent.

The court in rejecting Edeoga’s application for leave cited paragraph 6/7 of the court of Appeal Rules 2021 as the applicant failed to attach the certified true copy (CTC) of the decision of the trial court at the lower court and that this failure had rendered his application as lacking in merit and incompetent to appeal to the court as an interested party in the Labour Party’s Appeal case.

The judge quoted a Supreme Court earlier ruling in case between APC vs Evan Enwerem 2022 and circumstance which described such late application/appeal as legally ultra vires, incompetent, statute barred.

Justice Senchi however informed the court that his two other co-panel of judges (justice Tsamani and justice Williams) who were absent from the judgement proceedings, sent in their contributions affirming the judgement. He also directed the parties concerned to obtain the details of the judgement subsequently from the court.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on Wednesday November 9, 2022 in a suit brought by Chief Evarest Nnaji challenging the purported primary conducted by Labour party in Enugu state on August 4, 2022, ruled that the evidences before it shows that there was no valid governorship primary held by Labour Party involving the aspirants and consequently ordered a fresh primary to be conducted by the party within 14 days of that judgement.

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