Senator Andy Uba, of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), has urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), who is also chairman of the National Judicial Council, (NJC,) Justice Dahiru Musdapher, to cause to be set aside, the December 22, 2011, judgement of the Appeal Court in Enugu which ordered the nullification of his election to the senate.
According to Uba who represnts Anambra South, the Justice Helen Ogunwuji panel erred in law when it gave the order even when such prayer was not part of the reliefs sought by the appelant, Chuma Nzeribe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
This was contained in a petition sent to the CJN dated February 3, 2012, and titled ” My Reaction To Hon Chuma Nzeribe’s Petition Against the Consitution of Panel of Justices To Hear my Application to set Aside Judgement Delivered on 22nd December 2011, Against Me Without Jurisdcition and For Want of Fair Hearing”
Uba argued that the Appeal Court granted unsolicited reliefs to Nzeribe and his party saying ” a court of law is not a father christmas that embarks upon granting unsolicited gifts to all manner of people” He maintained that ” no relief was sought by Nzeribe and his party…procedure adopted by the panel was such that deprived the said judgement of the character of a legitimate adjudication”
Uba pointed to the fact that one of Nzeribe’s counsels, Ngozika Owoh, admitted on page 19 of their counter affidavit, that no relief was sought when they said “…the omission of the prayers sought in the notice of appeal was due to inadvertence of appellants/respondents/applicants counsels…”
The Chairman, senate committee on INEC cited the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Akinbobola v PillsonFisko Ltd (1992), where the Hon Justice Kawu held ” If a court makes an order which it has no jurisdiction to make, it has jurisdiction to set it aside”
Uba reinforced his claim with Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Akpo v Hakeem-Habeeb (1992), wherin Justice Karibi White held ” the court has no jurisdiction to consider a relief not claimed by either party and therefore cant make any valid order in respect of such relief”
Also cited was JIWUL v Dimlong 9 NWLR (part 824) 145 at 178, where Justice of the Appeal Court, Justice Nzeakor held that ” it is my respectful view that a court of justice can only grant reliefs sought or incidental to such reliefs…it has no jurisdiction to consider, not to mention, to grant a relief not sought for “
In conclusion Uba said ” on account of the foregoing, i advised myself that it will be proper, just and fair to ask for the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Enugu, to be set aside”