Kogi East: Court threatens Saraki, NASS clerk with jail for violation of order
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday threatened to commit the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori to prison if they further fail to obey its order of June 13, 2018.
The court had ordered Saraki and Sani-Omolori to swear-in Air vice Marshal Isaac Mohammed Alfa (rtd) as the Senator representing Kogi east, just as it ordered Senator Attai Aidoko (PDP, Kogi east) to vacate the seat because he was not validly elected.
The presiding judge then, Justice Gabriel Kolawole (now Justice of the Court of Appeal) in addition ordered Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to re-issue certificate of return in favour of Alfa.
Despite the validation of the Federal High Court judgement by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, Aidoko had through his lawyer, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN) on January 28, 2019, filed another suit before the same Federal High Court, asking it to set aside its order of June 13, 2018.
The Federal High Court on February 22, 2019, struck out the suit on the grounds that its order of June 13, 2018, is still valid and subsisting.
The trial Judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere held that the judgement delivered by Justice Gabriel Kolawole (now JCA) on June 13, 2018 which declared Alfa as the validly elected flag bearer of the PDP for the Kogi East senatorial seat in the 2015 election and consequently affirmed by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court must be obeyed.
But Alfa’s lawyer, Reuben Egwuaba on March 6, 2019, applied for ‘’Form 48’’ which is a ’’notice of consequences of disobedience to order of the Federal High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court’’.
However, the Court granted Alfa’s application to warn Saraki and Sani-Omolori against further delay to inaugurate hIm As Senator.
Justice Inyang Ekwo held that Saraki and Sani-Omolori should, ‘’take notice that unless you obey the order contained in this order you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison’’.
Senator Aidoko’s appeal against Justice Kolawole’s judgement at the Court of Appeal was dismissed on October 24, 2018, thereby affirming the Federal High Court judgement.
He further appealed against the Court of Appeal Judgement before the Supreme Court which was struck out on January 23, 2019 on the ground that it was caught by the amendment to Section 285 of the constitution, which took effect from June 7 last year.