The Young Progressive Party (YPP) has kicked against the constitution of a special panel of the Court of Appeal to hear the petition by Chris Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the validation of the election of its candidate, Ifeanyi Ubah as winner of the Anambra South senatorial election by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal.
National Chairman of YPP, Bishop Amakiri, at a press briefing, yesterday, in Abuja said the party was disturbed by proceedings of the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu with respect to the appeal brought by Chris Uba against the decision of the tribunal to uphold the election of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.
Said Amakiri: “The YPP has watched with keen interest proceedings of the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu. The Court scheduled the hearing of appeals lodged by Chris Uba for October 31, before the regular panel of the Court of Appeal which had earlier heard the same senatorial appeal between Victor Umeh and Uche Ekwunife on Anambra Central Senatorial elections. Curiously about midday on October 21, counsel in the matter were informed that the appeals had been fixed for hearing the next day,October 22 before the regular panel of the Court of Appeal.
“Lawyers in the matter had to rush down to Enugu from various parts of the country ahead of the hearing. However, at about 4pm on October 21, our lawyers were informed that the hearing has been called off and that a special panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal would be constituted by the President, Court of Appeal for hearing of election matters including appeals lodged by Chris Uba.
“Our party has made efforts to inquire into the rationale for the abrupt change of the panel of the Court of Appeal hearing the matter to no avail. We have also made efforts to find out the new composition of the panel of the Court of Appeal sent to hear the appeals to no avail. Again, the Court of Appeal today October 23, informed our lawyers that the appeals in No. CA/EAPP/20/2019 (Chief Chris Uba v INEC) has been fixed for hearing on October 25.
“Our Party believes the composition of courts is fundamental to the impartiality of the judiciary, and whilst our party has implicit confidence in the judiciary, we believe that there should be explanations for changes in composition of the panel of Appeal Court, Enugu. We request a full disclosure of the composition of the special panel of the Court of Appeal that has been constituted for the hearing of the appeals.” Our position is pertinent particularly in view of rumors and boasts by supporters of the appellant that the changes in the panel of the Court of Appeal is aimed at achieving a pre-determined objective to the detriment of our party and candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah,” the YPP said.