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Kaduna Central Senatorial: Court dismisses suit seeking Sen. Usman’s sack



A Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, on Wednesday, dismissed a suit seeking to invalidate the nomination of Sen. Lawal Usman as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate for the Feb. 25 Kaduna State Central Senatorial election.

Justice James Omotosho, in a judgment, held that the suit, filed by Mr Ibrahim Usman, an aggrieved aspirant in the party’s primary held on May 23, 2022, was an abuse of court process.

Justice Omotosho held that the matter, having been decided by an Appeal Court and subsequently affirmed by the Supreme Court, lacked merit.

The judge said though the plaintiff’s suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/333/23, was not statute barred, having been filed within the 14-day period prescribed by the law, he however agreed with the defence that the subject matter of the instant suit was similar to the earlier one he filed before a FHC sitting in Kaduna, which had been decided by the apex court.

He said for a lower court to review the decision of a superior court did not go with “the doctrine of stare decisis,” and such suit had been caught up by “the principle of res judicata.”


He, therefore, said that Usman’s suit constituted an abuse of court process for asking the lower court to review the decision of the Appeal Court and the judgment of the Supreme Court.

The judge, who said that instituting the case was like flogging the dead horse, said the court also found that the action was a deliberate attempt to turn the decision of the court over its head and to go into judicial rascality.

“This suit ought to be thrown into the dustbin. The matter has already been decided and cannot be reinstituted.
“The plaintiff is bound to obey the decision of the Supreme Court as you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand,” he said.

According to Justice Omotosho, no matter how incorrect a judgment of a higher court might be, it cannot be reviewed by a lower court.

He said that the PDP primary poll conducted on Nov. 7, 2022 against the primaries held on May 23, 2022, never existed, having been set aside by the apex court.


A FHC in Kaduna had, in its judgment in suit number: FHC/KD/CS/73/22, nullified the PDP primaries conducted on May 23, 2022 which produced the 2nd defendant (Sen. Usman) as PDP candidate, and ordered for a fresh poll.
The party had organised another primaries on Nov. 7 which produced the plaintiff as its candidate.

But an Appeal Court, in the appeal marked: CA/K/257/22 filed by the 2nd defendant (Sen. Usman), on Dec. 19, 2022, set aside the judgement of the trial court that ordered for the Nov. 7, 2022 primary election.

The Supreme Court, also in its judgment on Feb. 17 on appeal number: SC/CV/1691/2022 filed by the plaintiff, affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

However, the plaintiff, unsatisfied with the decision, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Lawal Adamu Usman and PDP as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively before Justice Omotosho of a FHC, Abuja.

In the writ of summons dated and filed March 10 by his lawyer, Chief P.H. Ogbole, SAN, the plaintiff sought 14 reliefs, which include an order voiding the pronouncement made by INEC on Feb. 28, declaring and returning the 2nd defendant (Sen. Usman) as the winner of the Kaduna Central Senatorial District election conducted on Feb. 25.


He also sought an order directing the commission to issue and hand over to him a Certificate of Return in respect of the Feb. 25 election as validly elected candidate of the party, among others.
In his statement of claim, the plaintiff averred that he won the PDP primary poll conducted on Nov. 7 to determine its standard bearer for the general elections.

But in his preliminary objection, the 2nd defendant (Sen. Usman), urged the court to dismiss the suit for being an abuse of court process.

He argued that the subject matter of the suit had been determined by the Supreme Court which was predicated on who was the validly elected candidate of the PDP for the Kaduna Central Senatorial District at the general election held on Feb. 25.



Tribunal upholds Gov. Alia’s election



Gov Alia Hyacinth Alia

The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on Saturday upheld the victory of Gov. Hyacinth Alia of the APC in the March 18 Governorship Election.

Delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and PDP.

Karaye, who read the unanimous judgment, stated that only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.

He further said the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.

He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.


Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.

He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election and therefore, dismissed the case.

The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.

The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election, not qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election.

They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.


They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, therefore, should be disqualified.

They, therefore, prayed among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.

The also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC be withdrawn.

NAN reports that the petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.

However, the respondents in their counter arguments, urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.


The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division, had before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter which was filed by the petitioners but they did not appeal the judgment till date.

They also said that the issues raised were all pre election matter and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.

The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners case was status bar and should be struck out.

They said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.

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Court stops PDP from dissolving Rivers chapter EXCOS



A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, restrained the national body of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from dissolving the Rivers’ chapter of the State Executive Committee (SEC) over alleged anti-party activities.

Delivering judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo, said he found that the case of the plaintiff, Mr Desmond Akawo, succeeded on merit.

Akawo, the Rivers’ PDP Chairman, had sued the party and Dr Iyorchia Ayu (the immediate-past National Chairman representing himself and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC)) as 1st and 2nd defendants.

The plaintiff also joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 3rd defendant in the amended originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/112/2023 and filed on March 9 by his counsel, Dr Joshua Musa, SAN.

Akawo sought the court’s determination whether having regard to the provisions of Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 47(1) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended In 2017), they were not entitled to serve our their term.


He said he and other members of the SEC, the LGA executive committees and the ward executive committee were elected and sworn-in pursuant to the state’s congress held on March 21, 2020 and were entitled to complete their four-year term which expires on or about May 22, 2024.

Akawo, in the affidavit which he personally deposed to, averred that the PDP ans its national chairman on Jan. 4, prior to the general elections, threatened to unilaterally dissolve the Rivers’ chapter of SEC and replace the same with an Interim Caretaker Committee.

He, however, said that prior to the threat, neither any member of the state committee nor himself had ever been queried by them.

He, therefore, sought an order of injunction restraining the party and the national chairman from dissolving, suspending or truncating the tenure of the Rivers’ SEC, the LGA executive committees and the ward executive committees until May 22, 2024, when their four-year term would expire, among other reliefs.

Justice Ekwo held that the PDP and its national chairman did not deny Akawo’s averments.


“Essentially, the 1st and 2nd defendants have admitted the case of the plaintiff on this issue.

“The law is that facts admitted need no further proof;” he said.

The judge, who granted all Akawo’s reliefs, declared that the party and its national chairman cannot unilaterally and without reasonable cause, dissolve the state’s EXCOs who were democratically elected for a four-year period.

He also gave an order of injunction, restraining them from appointing any person or group of persons as interim caretaker committee in the state until May 22, 2024.

Justice Ekwo further gave an injunction order restraining INEC from according recognition or accepting any name as caretaker committee of the PDP in the state except those democratically elected and represented by Akawo in the suit.

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