16 January 2018

Nigeria: 'Sacked' Senator Defies Court, Attends Senate Plenary

Despite a court order declaring the Kogi East Senatorial seat vacant, Atai Aidoko Ali, who until the court's pronouncement represented the district, on Tuesday attended plenary as a Senator.

Mr. Ali's presence was announced by the Senate Chief Whip.

Before the announcement, he had participated in a closed-door session that lasted an hour.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja had on December 18, 2017 declared the Kogi East senatorial district seat vacant.

But Mr. Aidoko denied the ruling, claiming that the issue of, 'candidacy or vacant seat' did not come up during the judgement.

Mr. Aidoko said the Appeal Court judgement did not declare the seat vacant but ordered parties to return to the High Court, 'to seek requirement for reference which he filed before the Appeal court.'

However, court documents exclusively sourced by PREMIUM TIMES showed that the Senator lied as the seat was actually declared vacant.

The judgement showed that the seat should be empty until a decision of the Federal High Court is made, as directed by the Supreme Court on June 16, 2017.

The Appeal Court in a unanimous judgement condemned the decision of Mr. Aidoko to return to the court to seek interpretation of a matter that had been resolved by the Supreme Court.

A three-member panel of judges led by Abdul Aboki described as 'reckless and bizarre' the application brought by Mr. Aidoko.

It ordered the senator to pay N1 million compensation to his contender to the seat, Isaac Alfa.

Nigeria

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