S’ Court Reserves Judgment In Appeal Seeking To Sack Kaduna Governor

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the appeal seeking to nullify the election of Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State.

A five-member panel of Justices of the apex court, led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, reserved judgment to a date that would be communicated to parties after they adopted all their briefs filed in the matter.

A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal had, in a unanimous judgement delivered November last year, dismissed a five-ground appeal filed by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Ashiru Isa, in the 18 March governorship election in the state.

During the appeal hearing on Thursday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) asked the Supreme Court to ignore the appeal filed by the PDP and its governorship candidate.

In separate preliminary objections against the hearing of the appeal, INEC and the APC, through their lawyers, Abdullahi Aliyu (SAN) and Mohammed Sani Katu (SAN), respectively, insisted that the petition by the PDP and Isa is incompetent and worthless to be considered for adjudication.

The two respondents drew the attention of the apex court to the findings by the Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal to the effect that the petition was not filed in line with the Electoral Act 2022 provisions.

The electoral body and the APC maintained, among other issues, that records established that the petitioners acted in breach of Paragraph 18(1) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2022 when they prematurely applied to the Tribunal for the issuance of a pre-hearing notice.

They explained that the law provided that such an application must be filed seven days after the close of pleadings by the parties and added that the law is that a case must be initiated by due process of the law.

They subsequently asked the Supreme Court to decline any request to attach probative value to the appeal and strike it out or dismiss it.

In the main appeal, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), representing Governor Uba Sani, asked the Apex court to dismiss the appeal for lack of merit and substance.

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