Federal High Court Sacks Kogi East Senator
Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has sacked the Senator representing Kogi East senatorial district, Senator Attai Aidoko, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),in the National Assembly.
Justice Kolawole, who ordered the sack while delivering judgement in a pre-election suit, also ordered the Clerk of the National Assembly to immediately swear in Air Marshall Isaac Alfa (rtd.) also of the PDP to take the seat of Aidoko.
The court held that Aidoko was not properly nominated by the PDP for the March 2015 National Assembly elections, and consequently nullified his election.
Justice Kolawole, therefore, ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Aidoko in 2015 for not being the lawful candidate of the PDP.
In addition, the court ordered the clerk of the National Assembly to withdraw all privileges being accorded Aidoko, adding that the National Assembly should with immediate effect. withdraw the recognition being accorded Aidoko as a senator.
The court also ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Alfa, being the winner of the December 7, 2014, PDP primaries for the National Assembly election.
Justice Kolawole, who condemned the way and manner in which the PDP subverted the result of its primaries, held that rogue documents were used by the PDP to submit Aidoko’s name to INEC.
He added that the documents presented by the defendants were of no probate value for any court of law to rely on, holding that the purported nomination of Aidoko by PDP to INEC was an exercise in futility to rob the plaintiff the fruit of his election in the primary.
He said from the totality of the evidence placed before the court, it was clear that Sheidu Idoma was the Returning Officer for the senatorial election and not Umar Sanusi, adding that this was corroborated by key witnesses in their statements made on oath.
The judge also said the fact that the sacked senator refused to call his agent at the primary election, Mallam Farouk Adejo, left a credibility gap on the side of Aidoko.
Earlier, Justice Kolawole had dismissed the preliminary objection by Aidoko challenging jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.
He described the preliminary objection as an abuse of court process employed by Aidoko to delay the trial.
The judge held that the challenge of the court’s jurisdiction was an abuse of court process because it had earlier been resolved at both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court against the senator.
Consequently, the court awarded a cost of N750,000 against Aidoko and the PDP respectively.
In the document tendered in court, the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Isaac Alfa, scored 129 votes to beat Aidoko who pulled 101 votes, and another senatorial aspirant, Halima Alfa, who scored 80 votes to emerged winner of the primary election held on December 7, 2014.
However, PDP, while submitting the list of candidates for the senatorial election to INEC, substituted Alfa with Aidoko’s name.
This prompted the plaintiff to institute legal action in 2014 to challenge the legality of the candidacy of Aidoko, but the legal action along the line went to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, from where it was remitted to the Federal High Court for a fresh and accelerated hearing.