Supreme Court ends Gilbert Nnaji’s bid to oust Nnamani from Senate

Chimaroke Nnamani

THE Supreme Court on Monday dismissed suit filed by Senator Gilbert Nnaji seeking disqualification of Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, former governor of Enugu State as senator (Enugu East Senatorial District).

In a lead judgment, Justice Mary Odili held that the case was statute barred and therefore dismissed the motion on notice brought by Nnaji.

“This appeal is hereby dismissed having been withdrawn by the counsel to the appellant without any objection and there shall be no order as to costs.

According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports, the Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal, in June, dismissed an appeal challenging the clearance of Chimaroke to contest the Enugu East Senatorial District primaries by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Appeal Court has dismissed the case for lacking in merit after which Nnaji went to the Supreme Court.

Nnaji in October 2018 approached an Abuja Federal High Court, asking that his name be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), as the PDP candidate for the Enugu East Senatorial District.

He went to court, claiming that Nnamani was not present during the screening of PDP candidates and as such was not qualified to stand for the primary elections.

He further claimed that having come second in the primaries, he was the therefore the rightful candidate of the party. The case was later transferred to Enugu on the orders of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court. 

In his defense, Nnamani’s Counsel, among other things, told the court that the suit was statute barred. He argued that the course of action should have arisen after the PDP screening which the plaintiff, Nnaji, claimed Senator Nnamani did not attend.

Nnamani, who is returning to the Senate after having lost to Nnaji on two previous occasions after his tenure as governor ended, said, ”My coming to the Senate on a second missionary journey is driven by a greater sense of the need for the ‘sleeping giant’ called Nigeria, to wake up from her slumber.

“It is a project that must be made to work for the generality of Nigerians through robust debate and advocacy in that direction.”


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