The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has dismissed the suit filed by the speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. against the December 9, 2015 ruling of the court nullifying his election victory.
According to the court, though the controversy over the December 9, ruling by the five justices was triggered by an error in records by his lordship Justice Mohammed Garba, the error does not invalidate the ruling of the court on the nullity of his election.
In the copy of the ruling made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday in Yenagoa, the Justices of the Court of Appeal, Abdu Aboki, Sidi Bage, Samuel Oseji, Ibrahim Bdliya and Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf, affirmed the earlier judgement of the former justices of the Court of Appeal as delivered on the 9th of December, 2015.
Justice Abdu Aboki, who delivered the ruling on Benson’s application, said though the judgement was delivered by Garba because Eko, who prepared it was on an assignment outside the division,on making the entry in the record of proceedings Justice Garba erroneously indicated that the lead judgement of Eko dismissed the appeal contrary to the clear conclusion in the ruling that the appeal was substantially allowed in part.
He said: “It is my view that a different entry made in a court record albeit erroneously does not alter the effect of judgement of the court in which the rights of the party are determined one way or the other.The judgement of a court consists of the collation and analysis of evidence as presented before the court and making of findings, reasoning and the conclusion. This can be seen to wholly exist in exhibit A, the lead judgement prepared by Ejembi Eko.
“It forms the only source of drawing up an enrollment of the order of this court and not from the notes made during a court proceeding”.