Kogi State governor Captain Idris Wada and his challenger in the 2011 governorship election Alhaji Jibrin Isah will on February 21, 2014 know their fates on who was the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the gubernatorial election in the state.
The Supreme Court yesterday in Abuja fixed Friday February 21 to give final judgment in the fierce legal battle in which Isah, a chieftain of PDP and gubernatorial aspirant is seeking court order to nullify the nomination of governor Wada and declare him the governor of the State.
Justice Mahmoud Mohammed gave the date after parties in the suit which also comprised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and PDP adopted their final briefs of arguments.
Isah had lost both at the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal which separately dismissed his suit on the ground that they lacked jurisdiction to entertain a concluded election matter and that the litigant also lacked locus stand, to institute the case.
However adopting his brief for governor Wada, Chief Chris Uche SAN submitted that section 141 of the Electoral Act 2010 had caught up with the appellant on the reason that he could not be declared governor by virtue of his failure to participate in the December 3, 2011 governorship election.
Uche SAN argued that the aborted primary election of January 2011 being relied upon by the appellant was rightly cancelled by PDP and that the party has every right to embark on the cancellation.
The counsel told the court that since the appellant participated in the second primary by obtaining and returning nomination form to PDP, he was bound by the outcome of the second primary election which he lost.
He further submitted that the appellant can only approach an Election Petition Tribunal which under section 285 of the constitution has exclusive power to adjudicate over a post election case and not a regular court as he did in his case.
“No suit can be brought to challenge the candidature of anybody immediately the election is concluded. Also a party that does not participate in an election no matter his interest cannot institute a case against such an election”.
“Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution divests the Federal High Court of power to entertain a case questioning the validity of an elected governor. In this, the appellant did not go to the appropriate Election Petition Tribunal. He has slept off over his right and cannot turn round to blame anybody over that”
Uche asked the Appeal Court to uphold the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal which both declined jurisdiction in the case.
He further averred that the appellant cannot benefit from the Supreme Court judgment in the suit of Marwa against governor Nyako because he was not a party in the case.
Similar arguments were averred by PDP represented by Chief Olusola Oke and INEC Counsel Mr. J. M.M Majiyagbe who asked the Apex Court to dismiss the case of the appellant for lacking in merit, substance and in foundation.
However in his argument seeking nullification of governor Wada election, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN canvassed that the purported election of governor Wada cannot stand in law because it was conducted against the judgment of a Supreme Court.
He insisted that purported election has no precedent in the history of the country because it was conducted by INEC when its own appeal case was pending in Supreme Court.
Olanipekun SAN asked the Apex Court to intervene in the case by invalidating the purported election of governor Wada so as to protect the sanctity of the Constitution, the Electoral Act and the rule of law.
The SAN claimed that both INEC and PDP sabotaged the judgment of the Supreme Court by conducting the election and urged the court to set aside the purported election and enter judgment in favour of his client.