24 January 2013

Nigeria: Appeal Court to Commence Hearing On Saraki's Case

The Court of Appeal, Abuja division has fixed hearing for 15 April, in an appeal over the disputed Kwara Central Senatorial Seat.

The appeal was filed by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Alhaji Lasisi Ayinla Kolawole Jimoh against the PDP and its candidate; the immediate past governor of Kwara State Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

The former governor has however asked the appellate court to decline jurisdiction in the case on the ground that the appellant lacked locus standi to institute the appeal case against him.

Saraki also told the court of Appeal that the appellant did not participate in the last national assembly election in Kwara State and therefore cannot challenge the outcome of the election.

He also argued that the primary election that produced him was a domestic affair of PDP which in law, cannot be inquired into by any law court.

In his response to the appeal case against him, the former governor faulted the suit that brought appeal case claiming that it was instituted at the federal high court six days to the constitution of the Kwara State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal.

The Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District in the Senate insisted that since Jimoh instituted his case after the election, he ought to have gone to the election petition tribunal and not any regular court.

He asked the court of Appeal, Abuja division to hold that it has no jurisdiction in the appeal case because it was a post election suit that must first pass through an election petition tribunal before the appellate court and asked the court of Appeal to dismiss the appeal suit.

Jimoh had sued Saraki at a Federal High Court in Abuja where he challenged the nomination of Saraki as the PDP flag bearer on the ground that the bye election that produced him was not conducted in accordance with law but the court upheld Saraki's election.

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