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Court returns Wada as governor

12 October 2012, 13:25

Kogi  - The Federal High Court on Thursday, in Abuja, dismissed a suit filed by Mr Oyebode Makinde, challenging the election of  Idris Wada (PDP) as governor of Kogi.

Delivering judgment, Justice Abdul Kafarati held that the court lacked jurisdiction to handle the substantive issues raised in the suit.

Kafarati further said that the plaintiff lacked the ``locus standi’’ to bring the action against the governor and INEC.

He said that the plaintiff neither contested the governorship primary nor the main election in Dec.4, 2011.

The judge said that the plaintiff could be best described as an interloper, adding that ``he has no business coming to court on this matter because he is not a party in any way’’.

``In the light of this, the plaintiff is hereby ordered to pay a total of N150, 000 as cost and the governor shall have N100,000 while INEC is entitled to the balance of N50,000,’’ he said.

Makinde, a member of the PDP, had approached the court seeking the cancellation of the election that brought the governor to office.

The plaintiff said that the question before the court for determination was whether the Dec. 3, 2011 governorship election in the state complied with Section 178 (2) of the 1999 Constitution.

Makinde submitted that he was the bona fide governorship candidate of the party, adding that the selection of Wada as the flag bearer of the party in the election was not known to law.

He argued that the swearing-in of Wada as governor on a day a major decision was being taken at the Supreme Court on the tenure of five state governors, which included Kogi, was illegal.

Makinde submitted that the party primary that brought Wada violated the constitution of the country and that of the PDP.

He, therefore, urged the court to return him as the governor of the State.

In opposing the issues canvassed by the plaintiff, Chris Uche (SAN), Counsel to the governor, said that Section 141 of the Electoral Act had barred the court from declaring the plaintiff as governor.

Uche said that his client was protected by law because the plaintiff did not contest the election.

He urged the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds of abuse of court process.



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