DOUBLE VICTORY!!! Tinubu Jubilates As Federal High Court Delivers Powerful Judgement

By Post Nigeria February 28, 2017 07:55

DOUBLE VICTORY!!! Tinubu Jubilates As Federal High Court Delivers Powerful Judgement

The Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has dismissed a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its member, Mutiu Okunola, challenging James Faleke’s nomination as the All Progressives Congress, APC, Deputy Governorship candidate, in the Kogi State Governorship elections.

Recall, that Faleke is the political godson of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu.

The suit filed, was on the ground that Faleke’s nomination constituted double nomination, as he retains his seat as a Member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, in Lagos.

The plaintiffs had asked the court to compel Faleke to vacate his seat as a Member of the House.

Okunola, sought a declaration that Faleke’s nomination by APC as its candidate for the House of Representatives’ election of March 28, 2015, to represent Ikeja Federal Constituency 1, and his subsequent nomination as Deputy Governorship candidate for the November 21, 2015 Gubernatorial election of Kogi State, amounted to a double nomination and therefore, was unconstitutional.

Okunola and the PDP, sought a declaration that the transfer of Faleke’s membership from Lagos to Kogi by INEC, automatically terminated Faleke’s membership of the Ikeja Federal Constituency, and consequently extinguished his continued representation of the Constituency in the House.

However, the defendants said the subject matter of the action was academic, as it was already decided at the Election Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, where the plaintiffs lost.

In its February 21 judgment, Justice Abdulazeez Anka, held that the intention of the draftsmen, as it relates to Section 37 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), is to the effect that double nomination is as regards one candidate being nominated to contest an election under two different political parties.

The Judge, said where a candidate is nominated for an election while still holding an elective position under the same political party, does not amount to a double nomination.

The court held that the facts of the case did not fit into the intent of Section 37 of the Electoral Act, as Faleke was nominated from the same political party, and not different political parties.

According to the Judge, only a member of the same political party that made the nomination, can challenge the nomination of a candidate.

He held that it was an administrative function of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which is the third defendant, to register voters and transfer their data from one Constituency to another, as provided by Section 13 of the Electoral Act.

Justice Anka, held that the issue of whether the transfer of data by INEC of a registered voter from one Constituency to another can constitute a ground to disbar a person from holding an office was academic, as no law was provided by the plaintiffs’ Counsel, to show that a candidate or a voter whose data has been transferred by INEC, would be disbarred from continuing to hold the office.

According to the Judge, Faleke’s nomination as the Deputy Governorship candidate to the late Abubakar Audu in the Kogi Guber election, does not amount to double/multiple nomination, and therefore not illegal.

He added, that the plaintiffs’ action is non-justifiable, while Okunola lacks the locus standi to institute the action.

“The plaintiffs’ Counsel intentionally avoided the provisions of Section 68 (1) (d) of the Constitution, while placing heavy reliance on Section 68 (1) (b) of the Constitution,” the Judge held.

According to the Judge, since the plaintiffs lost at the Lower Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, the suit was just another attempt to bite at the cherry. Justice Anka therefore, dismissed the suit in its entirety.