A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi state, Mr Jibrin Isah Echocho, has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the court of appeal which dismissed the suit he brought to challenge the judgment of the Federal High Court which upheld the nomination of Governor Idris Wada of Kogi state as the party’s candidate for the gubernatorial election in the state.
Echocho asked the court to declare him the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and subsequently directed that he be sworn-in as governor of the state.
Delivering a unanimous judgment a panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Akomolafe Wilson held that the lower court did not have jurisdiction to entertain the matter in the first place and hence the court was right when it declined jurisdiction.
The appellate court also agreed with the lower court that the suit was a pre-election matter which ought to have gone to a tribunal, as the regular can only entertain post-election matters.
But in an appeal filed by his counsel, Wole Olanipekun at the apex court, he submitted that the court of appeal erred in law, when it held that the core issue was the question of jurisdiction of the court below to entertain the appellant’s action adding that the matter before the lower court boils down to the validity of the governorship election held by INEC in Kogi State on December 3, 2011 during the pendency of an appeal at the supreme court as at that time.
He added that the Supreme Court did not in its judgment in SC 357/2011 direct fresh elections to be held “in four out of the five states where INEC sustained an earlier primary election held on December 3,2011, contrary to the conclusion of the appeal court.
Responding counsel to both Governor Idris Wada and the PDP argued that the case lacked merit and had no foundation in law, and requested that that the apex court toed the line of the courts below and dismiss the suit in its entirety.
The apex court has set February 21, 2014 as date it will deliver judgment in the suit.