The Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, had on January 7, 2021 ruled that the disqualification suit against Dickson was not statute barred and should be given accelerated hearing by the Federal High Court.
The three-man panel of the court disagreed with the Federal High Court’s decision to dismiss the matter, saying the judgement of the lower court was wrong.
The panel presided over by Justice U. Onyemenam, explained the appeal was based on whether by the provisions of Section of the Electoral Act and Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the originating process of the applicant was statute barred.
He, however, said the suit was filed within 14 days beginning from the publication of the particulars of the candidate by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said: “We had looked at it and have come to the agreement that for the public to be aware and to be able to challenge any particulars of a candidate published by INEC (1st respondent), the 1st respondent would have to publish it first.
“We did not agree with the submission of the 2nd respomdent (the PDP) and the 3rd Respondent (Seriake Dickson) on this issue. We agree with the Appellant that the cause of action arose on the 17th September. Based on this, this appeal has merit and is hereby allowed”.
The court hadsaid: “The ruling of the Federal High Court is hereby set aside. The Appellants motion experte for substituted service is granted. All processes shall be served on the 3rd respondent by pasting on the office of the 2nd respondent.
“The suit is hereby transferred back to the Federal High Court for trial on the merit. We order accelerated hearing and make no order as to cost”.
But Dickson approached the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the judgement of the Court of Appeal.
The first respondent, Owoupele Eneoriekumoh, had through his lawyers P. D. Pius Esq and E. A. Aluzu filed a suit seeking for the disqualification of Dickson on grounds of presentation of false information to INEC.