Reps seeks to make Appeal Court final appellate authority in all post-election cases

By Innocent Anaba

A bill seeking an amendment to the 1999 Constitution, as amended, to make the Court of Appeal the final court for the hearing and determination of petitions on governorship, National Assembly and state House of Assembly elections has passed first reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill, marked HB 1212 and sponsored by the member representing Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency, Mr. Nnamdi Ezechi, aims to streamline the appeal process for the aforementioned elections by designating the Court of Appeal as the final appellate authority.

According to Ezechi, the initiative was driven by the intention to mitigate delays and save cost in post-election litigation.

Also at yesterday’s plenary, the House received a petition against disobedience to court orders by the Nigerian Navy and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, with respect to Mr. Isaac Okpanachi’s case, marked (NN1532).

The petition, which was presented by Ezechi, on behalf of the petitioner, Mr. Isaac Okpanachi, a former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, had to do with his alleged wrongful dismissal from service.

It highlighted the Navy and the CBN”s disregard for court orders to reinstate Mr. Isaac and compensate him.

Ezechi also presented another petition by Oko, Abuator, Akarai-Etti, Akarai-Obodo communities, in Ndokwa East, Delta State against the Nigerian Petroleum Upstream Regulators, NUPRC, and OML 26 Settlor Asset Management Team Regarding OML 26 Settlements and Trusteeship Appointment and other matters.

It addressed discrepancies in the OML 26 settlements and challenged the improper nomination and appointment of trustees for the OML 26 Host Community Development Trust Fund.

Upon receiving the petitions, the speaker, Mr. Tajudeen Abbas, referred them to the House committee on public petitions for thorough examination and appropriate action.

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