Kogi East 2015: Court revisits Alfa-Aidoko case of disrupted PDP primaries today

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A Kogi High Court will today hear appeal against last Wednesday dismissed an application for Stay of Execution on its ruling refusing preliminary objection in a suit alleging inconclusiveness of the December 7, PDP primaries for Kogi East Senatorial District.
Justice Sunday Otu of High Court III, Lokoja said he found the argument in supporting the application not convincing enough having considered all materials placed before him.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one of the four candidates in the primary election and member PDP Board of Trustees, Mrs Halima Alfa is seeking redress in the court alleging inconclusiveness of the primaries.

She is also contesting the declaration of Sen. Attai Aidoko as the winner of the primary election which was disrupted midway into the counting of ballots by political thugs.

U.O. Sule Esq., counsel to Aidoko had filed a preliminary objection challenging the competence of the suit and jurisdiction of the court on the ground that Alfa did not exhaust the internal mechanisms of the party in addressing grievances arising from such primaries.

Otu had ruled that aggrieved candidates in such elections were constitutionally empowered to approach the courts for redress and therefore held that the suit was competent and the court had jurisdiction in line with section 879 of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended..

Sule however declared intention to appeal the ruling and accordingly filed an application for Stay of Execution of the ruling on the preliminary objection delivered on February 20, to stall hearing in the substantive suit.

Dismissing the application for stay of execution for want of concrete evidence at the adjourned sitting on Wednesday, Otu held that he could therefore not exercise restraint on further proceedings in the substantive suit.

Commenting on the ruling, Williams Aliwo Esq. who stood in for counsel to Alfa, Mr Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) said what happened was like removing the lid from the substantive case so that the case can move forward.

“In a matter of one day the case would have been done with if not for the impediments. The way is already clear for the substantive matter to be determined”, he said.

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