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Mudiaga-Erhueh v. I.N.E.C.

1.      KATE MUDIAGA-ERHUEH

2.      ALL PEOPLE’S PARTY (APP)

3.      G. P. ORUBEBE ( STATE CHAIRMAN APPDELTA STATE)

4.      NATIONAL CHAIRMAN (APP)

V

1.      INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL

COMMISSION (INEC)

2.      MRS. JUKUNSON ABAMA

( PRESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER, DELTA STATE

3.      OJIKUTU 

(FEDERAL ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER)

4.      PRINCE FRED BRUME

5.      OLOROGUN FELIX IBRU

6.      PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA

7.      PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) DELTA STATE HEADQUARTERS, ASABA

COURT OF APPEAL

( ABUJA DIVISION )

DAHIRU MUSDAPHER, JCA ( Presided )

M. SAIFULLAHI MUNTAKA-COOMASSIE, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment ) ZAINAB ADAMU BULKACHUWA, JCA

CA/A/67/99

MONDAY, 7TH OCTOBER, 2002

COURT - Court determining issues that are hypothetical or academic - Impropriety of

COURT - Jurisdiction as sine qua non to the exercise of judicial powers

COURT - Jurisdiction - Lack of - Effect

                              Mudiaga-Erhueh vs. I.N.E.C.                                             1067

COURT - Jurisdiction of - Whether court can expand

EQUITY - Equity and law - Joint existence of both for the purpose of achieving justice according to the law

JURISDICTION - A sine qua non to the exercise of judicial powers

JURISDICTION - Determination of - Applicable law therefor

JURISDICTION - How conferred and determined

JURISDICTION - Lack of - Effect JURISDICTION - Whether court can expand

Issue:

Whether the Federal High Court had supervisory, original or concurrent jurisdictioin to entertain the originating motion of the appellants being an election petition.

Facts:

The appellants in an originating notice of motion dated 8/3/99 and filed in the Federal High Court Abuja, claimed against the respondents that the 1st appellant being the only accredited and duly nominated candidate up to the time of voting on Saturday, February 20, 1999 should have been so declared and returned unopposed. The fourth respondent filed a notice of preliminary objection and urged the court to strike out the suit on the grounds of jurisdiction and res judicata. The objection was taken and argued extensively, and in a considered ruling of the lower court dated 12/8/99, the trial court upheld the preliminary objection and accordingly dismissed the suit. Being dissatisfied with the ruling, the appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal.