DOUBLE WAHALA! Court Sacks Kogi Senator
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the removal of the representative of Kogi East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Atai Aidoko.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who handed down the ruling yesterday, ordered the immediate swearing in of Air Marshall Isaac Alfa (rtd).
Both Aidoko and Alfa are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Delivering the judgment in the pre-election suit, the judge held that Aidoko was not properly nominated by the PDP for the March 2015 National Assembly elections.
He ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately withdraw the certificate of return issued to Aidoko in 2015.
The court also asked INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Alfa, being the authentic winner of the December 7, 2014 primary of the party.
The court equally ordered the Clerk of the National Assembly to withdraw all privileges accorded to Aidoko.
He condemned the way the PDP subverted the result of its primary.
According to the judge, the documents presented by the defendants were of no probate value for any court of law to rely on.
He held that Aidoko’s purported nomination by the PDP was an exercise in futility designed to rob the plaintiff of his victory at the primary.
Justice Kolawole said it was obvious from the “totality of the evidence placed before the court that Sheidu Idoma was the Returning Officer for the senatorial election, and not Umar Sanusi.”
He stressed that key witnesses, in their statements made on oath, corroborated the position.
The judge also held that the fact that the sacked senator refused to call his agent at the primary, Farouk Adejo, left a credibility gap on his path.
The jurist had earlier dismissed the preliminary objection raised by Aidoko, wherein he challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.
He described the preliminary objection as an abuse of court process, which Aidoko employed to delay the trial.
He added that the challenge of the court’s jurisdiction was an abuse of court process, because the issue of jurisdiction had earlier been resolved at the appeal and supreme courts against the senator.
The court subsequently awarded N750,000 cost against Aidoko and the PDP.
Evidence tendered by Alfa showed that he actually scored 129 votes against Aidoko’s 101 to emerge winner of the primary.
But the PDP, while submitting the list of candidates for the senatorial election to INEC, substituted Alfa with Aidoko.