Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nigeria: Atiku - S/Court Set to Review Appeal Court's Verdict On Iwu - AllAfrica.com

Ise-Oluwa IgeLagos

BARELY three and a one-half calendar months after the Court of Entreaty sitting as Presidential Election Request Court held that the contiguous past times Frailty President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, drop in mistake for suing the President of INEC, Prof Maurice Iwu, in person, over the behavior of the April 21, 2007 presidential poll, the Supreme Court yesterday re-opened the issue at the case of both President Umaru Yar'Adua and Atiku Abubakar.

But the vertex tribunal yesterday said it would not be able to do a rich and informed dictum on the issue until when political parties in difference have got entered all their written statements on the matter.

The tribunal consequently directed political parties to register their written computer addresses on the issue. Justice Niki Tobi presided over the Supreme Court panel that sat on the legal issue yesterday. He gave September 22, this twelvemonth as tax return day of the month on the legal issue for mention.

Yar'adua together with INEC, had at the pre-hearing phase of the request filed by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to invalidate the April.21, 2007 presidential opinion poll held countrywide asked the Court of Entreaty to disregard Atiku's petition.

Both Yar'Adua and INEC had maintained that Atiku's request was not competent in law and ought to be struck out because the alleviations allegedly claimed therein were contradictory, inconsistent, mutually sole and mutually divergent..

They also asked the tribunal to hit out Prof Iwu's name from the Atiku's request on the land that Iwu is not a juristic person.

But the Court of Entreaty sitting as Presidential Election request Court refused the twin invitation by both Yar'Adua and INEC, saying Iwu having entered a conditional visual aspect in the lawsuit and having joined issues with Atiku who sued him could not have got his name sruck out at the clip because he cried out too late.

The five-member tribunal headed by Justice Ogebe also held "the issue of joinder of Prof Iwu and the claim by Yar'Adua that Atiku have made a contradictory, inconsistent and mutually differing claims in word form of alleviations cannot be entertained without touching on the virtue of the substantial lawsuit before this court.

"I therefore throw that this tribunal have full legal power to entertain this request to enable political parties ventillate their grievances. I disregard both applications," .

The application lost by both Yar'Adua and INEC was painful to them as Yar'Adua came on entreaty to Supreme Court to change by reversal the verdict.

But while the interlocutory entreaty was pending at the Supreme Court, the panel of the Court of Entreaty which sat as presidential election request tribunal and headed by Justice Jesse James Ogenyi Ogebe determined the two issues raised in the interlocutory appeal.

First, the Court of Appeal, in its judgement on the Atiku's request held that Atiku's alleviations were contradictory, inconsistent and mutually divergent.

The tribunal said that ordinarily, based on its determinations that Atiku's alleviations were contradictory, it said it ought not to see the request on its virtuousness but that out of abundanti cautelia, it would.

The tribunal also struck out the name of Prof Maurice Iwu from the request maintained by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to dispute the electoral triumph of President Umaru Genus Musa Yar'Adua.

The appellant tribunal had held that by virtue of the commissariat of the Electoral Act 2006, it said Iwu was not a juristic individual that could be sued as a political party in the case.

The tribunal had said that what Atiku could make at best was to litigate him in his functionary capacity and not in his private capacity.

The tribunal had also struck out all paragraphs in Atiku's request alleging one thing or the other against Iwu.

Even though the Court of Entreaty had decided the twin legal issues, both political parties in the interlocutory entreaty would not retreat from it.

They both said that the dictum of the vertex court would enrich the nation's law and would steer future election suppliants on whether or not to fall in main electoral military officers in their request while ambitious the consequences of the election.

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According to Head Emeka Ngige (SAN) who led a squad of lawyers that represented Atiku Abubakar in the lawsuit yesterday, he said the vertex tribunal would no doubt remark on the mental attitude of the tribunal of entreaty pronouncing on issues already submitted to a higher court.

But Yusuf Muhammad Ali (SAN) said whatever the dictum of the vertex tribunal would not change anything except that it would enrich the nation's jurisprudence.

He defended the tribunal of appeal's action.He said it would have got been a different ball game if the supreme tribunal had earlier made a dictum on the twin legal issue before the tribunal of entreaty made a reverse findings of fact on them.

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