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Political Appointment: NYSC certificate is not necessary for Appointment – Federal High Court

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# Cleared Kemi Adeosun’s NYSC certificate saga

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday said that the former Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun did not need the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) discharge certificate to take up any ministerial appointment or before standing for any elective office in the country.

The court held that Adeosun who graduated in a London University in 1989 was already 36 years of age, therefore, exempted from participating in the NYSC scheme.

Delivering judgment in a suit, Justice Taiwo Oladipupo Taiwo, held that Adeosun from available facts was a United Kingdom citizen having been born in the UK in 1967 and remained there till 2003 when she came back to Nigeria.

Justice Taiwo held that Adeosun became a Nigerian citizen by virtue of the 1999 Constitution which came into force on May 29 of the year, therefore, the NYSC Act will have no effect on her.

The judge said that Adeosun would have committed a grave crime against Nigeria if she had participated in the NYSC having attained the exemption age of 36 years.

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Judiciary

Rivers senatorial poll: Court orders INEC to recognise Atteng as SDP candidate

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept and publish Fred Atteng’s name as Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s candidate for the Feb. 25 Rivers South East Senatorial District election.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a judgment, held that the refusal of INEC to recognise Atteng’s name as sent to it by the party for substitution was contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Justice Nwite said that going by the provision of Section 29 of the Electoral Act, a candidate can only be substituted either as a result of death or withdrawal from a poll.

The judge agreed with the plaintiffs that Gokana Geoffrey, having withdrawn his candidature and resigned his membership from the party as its candidate for the senatorial district poll, and the party, having conducted another primary within 14 days of the action and monitored by INEC, the commission ought to have recognised the new candidate sent to it.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SDP and Fred Atteng had sued INEC as sole defendant in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/2205/2022.

In the amended originating summons dated Dec. 14, 2022 and filed Dec. 15, 2022 by their team of lawyers, the plaintiffs sought a court declaration that by virtue of Sections 65(2) (b), 106 (d), 177(c) and 187 (1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), INEC cannot recognise Gokana Geoffrey, who had withdrawn his candidature and resigned his membership from SDP as their candidate for the Rivers South East Senatorial District election.

Besides, they averred that the commission cannot refuse to accept the name of Mr Atteng submitted to it as party’s candidate after a validly conducted and monitored primary.

They, therefore, sought an order, directing INEC to allow the party submit Atteng’s name as represented by it, following Geoffrey’s withdrawal from the race and his subsequent resignation from the party, among others.

Though the matter was slated for judgment last Friday, the judge adjourned the matter due to a counter affidavit earlier filed by INEC dated Dec. 30, 2022.

Besides, INEC was not represented in court despite a notice of judgment served on the commission.

Counsel to the plaintiffs, Jibrin Jibrin, had earlier prayed the court to dismiss INEC’s counter affidavit which, he argued, was filed out of time contrary to Order 3, Rules 3 to 4 of the FHC Practice Direction.

In addition, he said they were not served with the said application.

When the matter was called on Monday, though Musa Ogah appeared for the plaintiffs, no lawyer represented INEC in court.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Nwite agreed with the plaintiffs that “elections are sui generis.”

He held that though the electoral umpire had about 10 days to respond to the originating summons served on them by the plaintiffs, the commission only responded on Dec. 30, 2022.

Nwite, therefore, discountenanced INEC’s application.

He said though the commission was the statutory body empowered to regulate activities of elections in the country, this must be done within enabling provisions of the law.

He held that INEC’s scheduled of activities to ensure a successful election cannot supercede the Electoral Act, 2022.

The judge, who directed INEC to allow SDP submit its candidate for substitution in the poll, order the commission to accept and publish Atteng’s name as the party’s candidate for the Rivers senatorial election.

 

 

(NAN)

 

 

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Supreme Court Restores Akpabio As APC’s Candidate For Akwa Ibom North

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The Supreme Court has restored former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godwin Akpabio as the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwa Ibom North Senatorial District.

The Court of Appeal judgment delivered on November 14, 2022, which voided his candidacy was overturned.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, the apex court upheld the ruling of the Federal High Court in Abuja which in September last year granted a verdict in favour of the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

Justice Saulawa after reviewing the arguments canvassed by Akpabio said that his appeal was meritorious and allowed.

In a lead judgment, Justice Saulawa held that the “appeal succeeds on merit and is allowed.”

The judgment was on an appeal filed by Akpabio challenging the judgment of the Court of Appeal Abuja, which set aside his victory at the Federal High Court Abuja.

In arriving at the decision, the Supreme Court in a unanimous judgment said each of the 10 issues formulated by the appellant was resolved in his favour, and against the respondent.

The Supreme Court held that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case, adding that whatever decision arrived at by the court amounted to nullity.

It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal, Abuja had on November 14, 2022, set aside the judgment of Federal High Court Abuja, removing Akpabio as the APC candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.

A three-member panel of Justices led by Justice Danlami Senchi held that Akpabio failed to file a proof of arguments within the time provided by the rules.

The panel further ruled that Akpabio, having contested the presidential primary of the APC, could not participate in the valid primary of the party held on May 27 and monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which produced Udom Ekpoudom as a candidate.

But Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court Abuja had on September 22, 2022, ordered the INEC to reinstate Akpabio as APC’s candidate, being the candidate nominated by the party in the second primary of June 9.

The trial court had directed INEC to accept the former Minister of Niger Delta as the APC flagbearer.

Justice Nwite also ordered INEC to publish Akpabio’s name as APC senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North/West senatorial district in 2023, stating that the Commission acted illegally by refusing to accept and publish the former governor’s name when it was submitted to it by the APC as its candidate.

Justice Nwite added that Akpabio was validly nominated as the Akwa Ibom North/West Senatorial District candidate of the APC from the primary conducted by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on June 9, 2022.

The trial Judge faulted INEC for electing to monitor the May 27 primary conducted by an illegal faction of the party led by Augustine Ekanem as against the June 9 primary conducted by the APC NWC.

 

 

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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Court Dismisses Lawyer’s Suit Seeking To Disqualify Tinubu

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Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court Abuja, has dismissed a suit seeking disqualification of the All Progressives Congress and Bola Tinubu over the nomination of Muslim-muslim candidacy, for the 2023 presidential election.

The suit instituted by an Abuja based legal practitioner, Mister Osigwe Momoh was thrown out by the Judge on ground of lack of locus standi by the plaintiff.

Justice Mohammed held that the lawyer, not being a member of the APC and having not participated in the process that produced Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shetima cannot query them on the nominations.

The legal practitioner had in the suit prayed the Court for an order nullifying the candidature of APC and Tinubu from participating in the presidential election on the ground that the nomination of Muslim-muslim candidacy is unconstitutional and against the spirit and letters of sections 14, 15 and 224 of the 1999 Constitution.

He asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from publishing the name of APC and its presidential candidate for the purpose of the 2023 election.

However in his judgment, Justice Mohammed disagreed with the plaintiff on legal right to institute the case and subsequently dismissed it in its entirety.

 

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