The Court of Appeal has set aside an FCT High Court judgment sacking Senator Ifeanyi Ubah as the lawmaker representing Anambra South Senatorial district.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Stephen Adah, the court held that the FCT High Court acted outside its jurisdiction to entertain a matter that arose in Anambra state.
Justice Adah while awarding a cost of N250,000 against the first and second respondents in the appeal, insisted the lower court acted like an octopus and denied Senator Ubah the right to a fair hearing.
He added that the court further acted on an unsigned originating summons, which is also a nullity.
Embattled lawmaker, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, is seeking to return to the Senate after he was sacked by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in the Bwari area of Abuja.
This comes as the Court of Appeal in Abuja is set to hear the suit filed by Senator Ubah challenging the judgement which removed him as the lawmaker representing Anambra South district in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly.
In a ruling delivered on January 17, Justice Bello Kawu had reaffirmed the sack of Senator Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).
He ordered that Mr Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had challenged the embattled lawmaker’s victory in the Anambra South senatorial district election of February 23, be recognised as the winner of the election.
Justice Kawu also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Uzoh, the applicant, as the senator-elect in the district.
The PDP candidate had among other claims, alleged that his YPP counterpart presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) secondary school certificate to INEC, which enabled Ubah to contest the election.
He also insisted that Ubah’s party should be disqualified for not conducting a primary for its candidates in the poll.
The trial judge, in his ruling delivered in January, refused to reverse the judgement of the court delivered in December which removed Ubah as a member of the Senate.
He sacked Ubah and declared that the second defendant in the suit – the YPP – did not have the locus standi and should not have participated in the election.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the acting President of the Court of Appeal.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, announced this in a statement on Thursday.
He explains that the appointment, which takes effect from Friday, is for an initial period of three months.
Shehu added that Justice Dongban-Mensem would act in an acting capacity until when the incumbent president of the court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, would statutorily retire from service.
“Justice Dongban-Mensem, who is the next most senior judge of the Court of Appeal, will be acting pending when a substantive appointment to the position of the President of the Court of Appeal may be made by President Buhari subject to the confirmation of the Senate,” the statement said.
The presidential aide said the approval of Justice Dongban-Mensem appointment followed the recommendation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.
The recommendation, Shehu said, was made in line with the provisions of Section 238(4) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan has fixed April 1 for the hearing of the appeal filed by the Oyo State government challenging a court order not to dissolve the 33 local government chairmen and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) in the state.
The adjournment followed withdrawal and striking out of three different applications which the lead counsel to the applicants, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) filed earlier.
The justices believed the suits would stand as obstacles to the main substantive matter.
The appeal marked CA/IB/300/2018 was instituted by the governor of Oyo State, the Attorney General of Oyo State, and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters.
Others are the Accountant-General of the state, the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, the Oyo State House of Assembly, and the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC).
Its respondents are Mr Mojeed Bosun Ajuwon and 10 others.
The legal battle was renewed after May 6, 2019, when Justice Aderonke Aderemi ruled that the Oyo State government should not sack the chairmen as planned, but the judgement was appealed by the state government.
At the resumed hearing, counsel to the respondents, Niyi Akintola (SAN), told the court that he filed his brief of argument out of time and prayed the court to grant an extension of time.
He added that his brief of argument was supported with an 18-paragraph affidavit and the same served on the respondents.
In his submission, counsel to the claimant, Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), expressed displeasure at Akintola’s move but noted that he would not oppose the application.
The three-man panel headed by Justice Jimi Bada, thereafter, granted the application for extension of time until April 1, 2020.
The Elections Petition Appeal sitting in Jos, Plateau State capital on Friday upheld the election of Simon Lalong as the duly elected Governor of the state.
In the lead judgement delivered by Honourable Justice Adumein Otisi, the appeal of Jeremiah Useni and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was dismissed for lack of merit and align with the Election Tribunal decision affirming the elections of Governor Simon Lalong.
The sum of N200,000 is also awarded as cost in favour the Governor and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Plateau State Election Tribunal had earlier in October upheld the election victory of Lalong.
Justice Halimat Saleeman, in a unanimous decision of the tribunal threw out the petitioner’s case on the grounds that the petition is weak along the line of law and therefore cannot sway justice to the side of the petitioner.
The election petition tribunal had upheld the election of Ganduje of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the March 24 supplementary election held in some electoral wards in Kano State.
However, in a unanimous judgement delivered on the petition on Friday, a five-man panel of the court led by Justice Tijjani Abubakar dismissed the appeal by the PDP and its governorship candidate, Abba Yusuf.
The court affirmed the October 2nd judgment of the Kano State Governorship Election Tribunal, which had dismissed the petition by PDP and its candidate, challenging Ganduje’s victory at the supplementary election.
It could be recalled that the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Halima Shamaki had in its unanimous judgment on October 2nd, dismissed the petition filed by the PDP and Yusuf on grounds that the petitioners failed to prove their claims that the election was marred by irregularities and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
The tribunal also held that INEC was right in declaring the March 9 election in Kano State inconclusive and also in declaring Ganduje the winner of the supplementary election held on March 23.
The lower court also said that declaring an election as inconclusive where there are lawful reasons is constitutional.
A Court of Appeal has affirmed the election of Mr Abubakar Bello as the duly elected governor of Niger State.
The court gave the affirmation on Saturday in a unanimous judgment delivered by a five-man panel of justices, while ruling on the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the March 9 poll, Umar Nasko.
It held that it lacked the jurisdiction to enter judgment against Mister Bello as the appellants failed to conclude their petition within 180 days, as stipulated by Section 294 Sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Justice Oyebisi Omoleye, who read the lead judgment, insisted that election matters must be concluded within the 180 days prescribed by law.
The judge held that having failed to do that, the appeal filed by the PDP and its candidate has failed and was subsequently dismissed.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, on Tuesday upheld the decision of the Election Petitions Tribunal affirming the election of Abdullahi Sule as the governor of Nasarawa State.
In its judgement, the court presided by Justice Jumai Sankey resolved all the five issues raised in the petition brought before it against the appellants, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, David Ombugadu.
The court held that the appellants were unable to prove their case and thereby affirmed the verdict earlier passed by the Tribunal, which confirmed that Mr Sule was legally and lawfully returned as governor of Nasarawa State.
In his reaction, counsel to the governor, Dr Mubarak Adekunle, hailed the decision of the appellate court.
He said, “The Court of Appeal in Makurdi has just delivered its judgement. The court resolved all the five issues against the appellant.
“The Tribunal stroke out several paragraphs of their reply to Engineer A. A Sule’s reply. They appealed against that and the Court of Appeal affirmed it that the Tribunal was very right to have struck out all those paragraphs.”
“On all the allegations which border on disenfranchisement, cancellation of votes, inflation of votes and deflation of votes, the Court of Appeal affirmed that the Tribunal was right that they were unable to prove their allegations,” he added.
Adekunle added that on whether Governor Sule was fully or properly returned as elected, the appellate court affirmed that the appellants were unable to prove their case, having resolved all the allegations against the appellant.
He noted that the court affirmed the verdict of the Tribunal that “Engineer Sule was legally, lawfully and properly returned as Governor of Nasarawa State.”
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Monday lauded the judgement of the Court of Appeal which affirmed his victory in the March 9 governorship election.
The appellate court in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital had affirmed the election of the governor who contested on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
It upheld the judgement of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal which validated Abiodun’s victory and set aside the appeal filed by the candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), Adekunle Akinlade.
In a statement hours after the judgement, Governor Abiodun described the ruling as a victory of truth and democracy while thanking the judiciary for being unbiased in its verdict.
The governor also thanked his legal team for their exemplary professionalism and the All Progressives Congress (APC) for its support.
He also commended party supporters across the 236 wards of the state for conducting themselves in a civilised manner.
Governor Abiodun noted that scores of political parties have joined forces with his administration, saying they would continue to keep open the window of fellowship to others in the interest of the state.
He, therefore, called on those aggrieved as a result of the outcome of the poll to sheath their swords and support his administration, if indeed the motive was to serve the people of the state.
Read the full statement below:
Today’s victory is a triumph of truth and democracy. I give all the glory to the Almighty God, for I remain a testimony to his faithfulness.
We specially thank our team of lawyers led by Professor. Taiwo Osipitan for their exemplary professionalism, diligence and masterful delivery of points of law.
We appreciate the leadership of our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC), for their steadfastness and support.
In addition we wish to express our sincere appreciation to the judiciary once again for playing its role as impartial arbiter with courage, fairness and candour.
We are equally grateful for the solidarity and unwavering support of the APC faithful across the 236 wards of our state and their Omoluwabi conduct throughout this tortuous journey to the land of total victory.
May we also applaud the sincerity of all the other 80 parties that have, even before now, responded positively to our hands of fellowship.
Like true sportsmen and women, they have continued to identify with our government and only last week passed their vote of confidence in us.
We will continue to keep open the window of fellowship to all political actors and indeed all interest groups.
This victory has rekindled our drive to do more in Building Our Future Together agenda and every village, hamlet, town or city will not be left out in the scheme of our inclusive development.
Life is hinged on hope, our administration has restored hope to the people and we shall not relent until every citizen of the state attains individual prosperity whilst ensuring adequate security and putting the state on the path of sustainable development.
Whilst thanking all the good people of Ogun State who have entrusted us with their mandate, again we remain committed to providing a focused and qualitative governance that will be inclusive, participatory, accountable, transparent, fair, just and equitable.
The time has now come for all our adversaries to sheath their swords and join forces with our administration, if indeed the motive is to serve the good people of our dear state.
The common goal is the economic development of Ogun State and individual prosperity of our citizens.
Together, we can build a secure, purposeful and prosperous state.
Let all of us join hands to build a better future and engender unity, peace, development, through good governance that Ogun has witnessed in the last five months of our Administration.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has commended the judgement of the Court of Appeal which affirmed his victory in the March 9 governorship election in the state.
In a statement on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, he declared that the mandate given to him by the people of Oyo cannot be taken through the backdoor.
“There is no ambiguity as to the state of things in our pacesetter state, as far as the election of March 9, 2019, is concerned. Our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the election,” the statement said.
It added, “The victory was reaffirmed by a ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Ibadan, the state capital. On Monday, the Court of Appeal, also sitting in Ibadan, delivered its judgement on the appeal by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adebayo Adelabu.
“In its ruling, the Appeal Court refused to grant any of the three key reliefs sought by the APC candidate. The Court refused to nullify the election; it refused to order a fresh election and it also refused to order the retrial of the petition.”
The governor noted that with the above being the reality of the outcome of the appellate court ruling, his election has been reaffirmed.
According to him, nothing in the ruling of the appellate court affects the returns made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and there is nothing that tampers with his mandate
“Governor Makinde, hereby, urges the good people of Oyo State to remain calm and refuse to be provoked by agents of disruption who are seeking to upturn the truth, which remains constant against all odds.
“We also wish to enjoin the people of Oyo State to ignore the doctored reports in some media outlets, which are merely quoting the judgement of the Court of Appeal out of context,” the statement said.
It added that the preference of the people of Oyo was as clear as day and night, with the clear margin of votes between Governor Makinde (515,621) and Mr Adelabu (357,982).
The governor reassured residents that he would not be deterred from taking the state to greater heights through the implementation of his four-point service agenda.
He also insisted that positive governance and unprecedented development would continue to be the portion of the people through his tenure.