Supreme Court’s judgment on Kogi election fixed for Aug. 31 - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



memfys hospital Enugu

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Supreme Court’s judgment on Kogi election fixed for Aug. 31

The Supreme Court on Tuesday fixed August 31 for judgments on two appeals challenging the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

The court’s seven-man panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, fixed the date for judgments after lawyers representing the appellants and the respondents in the two cases adopted their briefs of argument on Tuesday.

The separate appeals were filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and the Socialist Democratic Party, along with their respective governorship candidates, who were dissatisfied with the outcome of the November 16, 2019 poll.

The third appeal filed by the Democratic People’s Party which had sought the nullification of the election on the grounds of unlawful exclusion was withdrawn at the last minute by the party’s lawyer, Mr. M. S Ibrahim.

Ibrahim was about to adopt his brief of argument when members of the Supreme Court’s panel made him realize that the appeal was a mere academic exercise.

Responding to a barrage of questions from the bench, Ibrahim said the Independent National Electoral Commission lacked the power to disqualify the DPP’s governorship candidate, whom he confirmed was 31 years old as of the time of the election.

But the apex court’s panel members noted that it was pointless to hear the appeal as the court could not have given a judgment to endorse the candidacy of the 31-year-old when the Nigerian Constitution stipulated a minimum of 35 years for anyone contesting the office of the governor of a state.

“It is an academic exercise,” Justice Amina Augie, a member of the apex court’s panel said.

Ibrahim then withdrew the appeal.

The CJN, in dismissing the DPP’s appeal, awarded N200,000 against the party in favour of Governor Bello and his deputy, Edward Onoja.

With the CJN on the panel were Justices Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Inyang Okoro, Amina Augie, Uwani Abba-Aji.

The panel fixed August 31 for judgment on the appeals filed by the PDP along with its governorship candidate, Musa Wada, after parties to the case adopted their briefs of argument on Tuesday.

It similarly fixed the same date for judgment on the appeal filed by the SDP alongside its candidate Natasha Akpoti.

The appeals specifically urged the apex court to upturn the July 4, 2020 judgments of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which affirmed the victory of Bello at the poll.

The PDP’s lawyer, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), urged the court to grant the appeal and upturn the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

But the counsel for INEC, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), Bello’s lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN), and that of the All Progressives Congress, M.A Abubakar who was led by Ahmed Raji (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the appeal, uphold the concurrent judgments of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, and award “substantial cost” against the appellants.

SDP’s lawyer, A.U.S Ojuajama, also adopted his brief of argument while the respondents’ lawyers, Izinyon, A. Zulu Gambari, and Paul Daudu, urged the court to dismiss the appeal and award cost against the party and its candidate.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disclaimer: Comment expressed do not reflect the opinion of African Parliamentary News