|Port Harcourt 09|
|Entertainment & Style|
|Appeal Court Upholds Kogi Acting Governor's Election|
|Written by Bonaventure Melah|
|Thursday, 28 February 2008|
Reprieve Thursday came the way of Clarence Olafemi, Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly who has been standing- in as Acting Governor of the state as the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja upturned the Judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal that had earlier nullified his election into the House.
Olafemi became Kogi State Acting Governor when the Court of Appeal which also sat in Abuja, two weeks ago, nullified the election of Ibrahim Idris as governor of the state. The Tribunal then ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh gubernatorial election in which former governor of the state, Abubakar Audu would contest. The repeat election is scheduled to hold on March 29, 2008.
The three member Panel of the Appeal Court led by Justice Olufumilola Adekeye in upholding the election of Olafemi as the duly elected member representing Mopa Muro Federal Constituency of Kogi state, noted that that the tribunal that heard the matter at first instance failed to submit the required proof of the allegation of criminality which formed the bed rock of their judgment.
The Appeal Court noted also that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was shut out as well as several people who were classified as thugs when they were not joined as parties in the petition.
Besides, the appellate court observed that the trial tribunal erred when it excluded vital documents that were relevant to the determination of the matter like, including Statement of Result of Baptist Primary School Effo Amuro where the Speaker turned governor attended school and the summary of the result of the entire constituency.
Advancing more reasons why the decision of the Kogi Election Petition Tribunal was quashed, the Court of Appeal noted that the petitioner failed to establish evidence that there was disenfranchisement of voters during the election, adding that justice was thrown over- board by their strict and rigid adherence to rules of the court/practice direction and that the allegations could not have been determined without joining INEC to file their reply.
Based on the foregoing, the Court of Appeal declared that the judgment of the tribunal was null and void and of no effect whatsoever; and consequently pronounced the Hon. Clarence Olafemi winner of the April 14 2007 State House of Assembly Elections for Mopa Muro Federal Constituency.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 February 2008 )|
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