Alfa Remains PDP Validly Nominated Candidate for Kogi East, Court Says

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday declared that the judgement delivered by a high court in Abuja in 2018 which ordered the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori, to swear–in Air Vice Marshal Isaac Mohammed Alfa (retd) as the Senator representing Kogi east in the senate is still valid and subsisting.
Justice Anwuli Chikere held Thursday that the judgement delivered by Justice Gabriel Kolawole (now of court of appeal) on June 13, 2018, which declared Alfa as the validly elected flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Kogi east senatorial seat in the 2015 election and consequently affirmed by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court still stands.
Justice Kolawole had also ordered Senator Attai Aidoko to vacate the seat because he was not validly elected, just as he ordered INEC to re-issue certificate of return in favour of Alfa.
Senator Aidoko’s appeal against Justice Kolawole’s judgement at the Court of Appeal was dismissed on October 24, 2018, thereby affirming the Federal High Court judgement.
Aidoko further appealed against the Court of Appeal Judgement which was struck out on January 23, 2019 on the ground that it was caught by the amendment to Section 285 of the constitution, which took effect from June 7 last year.
But on January 28, 2019, Senator Aidoko has through his lawyer, P.I.N.Ikwueto (SAN) filed a fresh suit asking the Federal High Court to set aside Justice Kolawole’s judgement because it contravened the provisions of Section 285 (10) of the 4th Alteration Act.
“As at June 13, 2018 when this court delivered its judgement in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1073/2014, the 4th Alteration Act had come into force and was a binding and existing procedural enactment of the National Assembly,” Aidoko stated.
Alfa had through his lawyer Egwuabo Reuben filed preliminary objection, declaring the suit as an abuse of court process and judicial mischief.
Justice Chikere agreed and declared that she has no jurisdiction to entertain the suit because doing so would amount to judicial rascality and insubordination.
“Doctrine of ‘stare decisis’ dictates that court below are bound to follow decision of the higher court on the same issue and doing the contrary amounts to gross insubordination. This court cannot set aside judgement of court of coordinate jurisdiction”
According to Justice Chikere: “Justice Moore Adumein who delivered the lead judgement of the Court of Appeal held that, for avoidance of any doubt, the provision of Section 285 (10) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) does not affect the judgement of the trial court delivered by Kolawole on 12/6/2018. The said judgement remains subsisting and valid, notwithstanding that this appeal is struck out for lack of jurisdiction.”
“The Supreme Court refused to vacate the concurrent judgments of the two courts, as the apex court on January 23, 2019 declined to hear the appeal brought by Senator Aidoko to set aside the appeal court judgement validating the Federal High Court judgement.
“Therefore, entertaining this suit would amount to sitting as appellate on the judgement of the high court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Accordingly, application seeking to set aside judgement of the Federal High Court is struck out,” Justice Chikere held.

Author: News Editor

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