The Supreme Court on Friday refused to reverse itself on the insistence that election petitions must be heard and determined within 180 days from the day of filing.
Dismissing the appeal by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Akwa-Ibom, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, the court said it lacked the jurisdiction to hear the appeal.
It rebuffed spirited efforts by the Appellant's counsel, Kola Awodehin (SAN) to hear the substantive appeal with the preliminary objection.
Upholding the preliminary objection of Governor Godswill Akpabio and his deputy, Nsima Ekere, the court said the appeal constitutes an abuse of court process.
In the unanimous ruling, Justice Mary Peter-Odili said the meaning and purport of Section 285(6) of the Constitution is unambiguous.
Since the court cannot amend the constitution, Justice Odili said there was no live issue remaining in the petition as the appeal had become an academic exercise.
"A matter of fair hearing is applicable only in live matter not as in this case. There is no foundation upon which this court can do what the appellant has invited it to do. This appeal is dismissed as an abuse of court process.
The Presiding Justice, Christopher Chukwuma-Eneh, John Fabiyi, Sulaiman Galadima, Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Sylvester Ngwuta and Olukayode Ariwoola agreed.
Counsel to Akpabio, Bayo Ojo (SAN) had urged the court to dismiss the appeal as a flagrant abuse of court process.
He posited that the court has laid to rest issues of 180 days as stipulated in Section 285(6) of the constitution.