Supreme Court upholds Diri’s election, dismisses Alaibe’s appeal
The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri as it dismissed the appeal by Timi Alaibe challenging his emergence as the lawful candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour dismissed the appeal.
Alaibe’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, withdrew the appeal after the panel members pointed his attention to the fact that the issues raised in the appeal were not about the primary election but about an internal affair of the party.
Alaibe, who had lost the suit at both the Federal High Court in Owerri and the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, had in the suit challenged the participation of two delegates who voted in the primary that produced Diri as the party’s candidate.
In the preliminary inquiry preceding the hearing on Tuesday, the Justice Rhodes-Vivour panel informed Adedipe that his case could not be categorised as a pre-election case that a court could entertain but about an internal affair of the party which the court lacked jurisdiction to hear.
Adedipe then withdrew the suit and was struck out by the court.
It would be recalled, the Chairman of the PDP electoral panel and governor of Taraba State, Governor Darius Ishaku, had declared Diri winner after polling 561 votes to defeat his close rival, Ndutimi Alaibe who polled 365 votes.
Alaibe, dissatisfied with the declaration of Diri as Governor, had approached the High Court arguing that the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adopted a flawed process that led to the emergence of Diri as the PDP flagbearer.Justice Tijani Ringim sitting at the Federal High Court Owerri had dismissed Alaibe’s suit declaring Diri as the winner of the primaries.
Alaibe had proceeded to the Appeal Court to challenge the decision of the lower court and in a unanimous decision, the Appellant Court upheld the decision of the lower court.
Alaibe, however, filed an appeal at the Supreme Court arguing through his counsel S.T. Ologunorisa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) that the lower and the appellant courts erred in law by upholding the election of Diri as PDP candidate and pray that the apex court declares him the winner of the primaries.
A five-man panel of Supreme Court Justices headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed had on June 17 asked the appellant and the respondents to regularise their processes.
Ahead of the supreme Court judgement there has been palpable tension in the State as Diri and top chieftains of the PDP relocated to Abuja to monitor proceedings. It would also be recalled that the Supreme Court in February, nullified the election victory of Bayelsa Governor-elect, David Lyon, and that of his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.
Lyon was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election. His victory also meant the first time a candidate of the APC would be winning a governorship election in Bayelsa.
Lyon’s election victory was nullified because his running mate, Degi-Eremienyo, presented a forged certificate to the electoral commission.
The decision followed actions by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) explained to pave the way for the swearing-in of the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Douye Diri, as governor of Bayelsa State after Supreme Court judgment that sacked the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, David Lyon, who won the November governorship election.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, had told newsmen in Abuja that Mr Diri has met all the constitutional requirements to become the governor-elect of Bayelsa, with the removal of Mr Lyon and his votes from the election result as ordered by the court.
“Without the votes scored by the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose candidates were deemed not to have participated in the election, the total number of lawful votes cast in the election now stand at 146,999.
“Out of this figure, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172,” Mr Yakubu said.
“Similarly, the Party (PDP) has scored more than 25 % of the lawful votes cast in all the eight (8) Local Government Areas of the State,” he added.
Not yet uhuru for El-Zakyzaky as Kaduna Govt vows to press new charges
It may not yet be over for Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky and his spouse, as the Kaduna State Governmenr has vowed to return to the court with new charges against the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and his wife
The State High Court in Kaduna had delivered a judgement discharging and acquitting El-Zakyzaky and Wife after six years of rigorious legal tussle
Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr. Dari Bayero maintained that the State will challenge the Kaduna State High Court judgement, while he also revealed that fresh charges that border on terrorism and treasonable felony will also be added.
Dari said Kaduna State government disagreed with the decision of the Judge, hence, they would appeal, stressing that El-Zakyzaky’s case as delivered were not in consonance with the facts on ground.
The State Prosecutor said, El-Zakyzaky would be rearrested once the Court order is issued for him to answer fresh charges.
He maintained that actions of the Shiite leader which Kaduna State government is prosecuting him afresh predated 2015.
Meanwhile, El-Zakyzaky and his wife reportedly moved to Abuja for medical treatment.
According to the source,” They have been flown to Abuja so as to get medical attention. They could not leave on Wednesday because they reached the Kaduna International airport late, the control tower had closed for the day. They were flown to Abuja on Thursday morning. Abuja is safer for our leader.”
Court of Appael sacks Odey, declares Jarigbe winner
The Court of Appeal in Calabar, Cross River State has sacked senator Stephen Odey as it declared Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as the duly elected senator for Cross River North.
The court declared Jarigbe the lawful candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) in the December 5, 2020, by-election for the seat on Friday.
The court of Appeal stated that the decision of the Tribunal was a mere mockery of the Judiciary.
The judgement of the court of Appeal has now put to rest the almost 10 months of Legal tussle as regards the Cross River North Senatorial by-election.*
A three-man appeal tribunal, headed by Justice Chioma I. Nwosu, also invalidated the certificate of return earlier issued to Steven Odey by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, directing the commission to withdraw the certificate.
Recall that on February 25, 2021, the court dismissed the appeal filed by Odey challenging the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
The majority judgment upheld the preliminary objections raised by Jarigbe challenging the mode of service of the notice of appeal.
Also, on December 29, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division, ruled in favour of Jarigbe.
Jarigbe was declared the duly nominated candidate of the PDP and the rightful winner of the December 5, 2020 election.
The court ordered the INEC to issue Jarigbe a Certificate of Return and withdraw the one earlier issued to Odey.
In March this year, following the apex court’s judgment, Senate President Ahmed Lawan failed to allow Jarigbe to take his oath as a Senator-elect or provide a reason.
Jarigbe, a member of the House of Representatives, had before expressed confidence that the Senate President would obey the law.
The true implication of the Supreme Court judgement in Jegede vs Akeredolu
BY DELE AIKU SAN
The true implication of the Judgement of the Supreme Court today in JEGEDE VS AKEREDOLU as affects the National Caretaker Committee of the APC.
I have read the so called information put out by Festus Keyamo SAN and i am shocked that he could purportedly write such a thing.
At the tribunal hearings, the APC principal witness, Dare Oketade Esq, who is the Director Legal Services of the APC while being cross examined by Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, told the court that Gov Mai Mala Buni was not drawing salary from the Party, was never occupying the office of the National Chairman of the Party, he only existed in Caretaker capacity by virtue of the Constitution of the APC which empowers the NEC to appoint any committee, give it any name and give it any power as it may deem fit and this was the basis of setting up the Caretaker Committee.
Ikpeazu SAN could not further cross examine the Director Legal Services as a result of these answers.
Ikpeazu SAN seeing the weakness in his petition for the PDP also cleverly excluded making the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Gov Mai Mala Buni a Party to the suit because of the immunity clause of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution.
If he had joined Governor Mai Mala Buni in that petition, he was damned, if he did not join him, he was also damned. As the four justices of the Supreme Court rightly noted, joining or not joining Mai Mala Buni in the suit goes to no issue as he is protected by Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution.
It was very clever of the APC to have delicately set up this Caretaker Committee as it is presently constituted.
In a highly politicized country wherein anyone gives interpretation to a Judgement on the pages of the newspapers even before reading the entire Judgement of the Supreme Court itself. This will certainly lead to people conjuring up things not implied or said by the Supreme Court.
The proposed Ward/Local Government and State Congresses of the APC most certainly should not be impaired by this Judgement.
Selah! DELE AIKU SAN
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