By Mumini AbdulKareem
The Court of Appeal in unanimous decision has struck out the suit filed by a member of the Kwara State Chapter of Labour Party, Alhaji Abdulhakeem Adelaja Amao challenging his replacement as the authentic gubernatorial candidate of the party during the 2015 governorship elections in the state, National Pilot can report.
In a 32- page judgment numbered CA/IL/106/2015 and delivered by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka on March 2, 2015, which was exclusively obtained by National Pilot yesterday, the appellate court struck out the ruling of M.A Afolayan in suit number KWS/149/2015 between Amao vs Labour Party and five others delivered October 15th, 2015 for lack of jurisdiction.
It therefore resolved “all the issues of the appeal in favour of the appellants”.
The other two appeal court judges were Mojeed Adekunle Owoade and Chidi Nwaoma Uwa.
Amao had dragged the party to court and joined the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji AbdulQadri AbdulSalam, National Secretary, Olukayode Ajulo, INEC, Dr Mike Omotosho and state chairman of the party, Johnson Babalola in the suit.
Among other issues, Amao (respondent) had sought a declaration that the submission of the name of Omotosho against his to INEC by the party, national chairman and national secretary is illegal, unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void and of no effect.
He also urged the court to direct INEC to delete Omotosho’s name from its register and deemed he never participated in the state gubernatorial election held on April 11, 2015 and pronounced him (Amao) the party’s governorship candidate.
Amao further sought an Order of Mandamus compelling INEC to prosecute the national chairman, party secretary, Omotosho and Babalola for electoral offences committed contrary to provisions of section 118(1)(a)(k) of the electoral act 2010 as amended.
The four issues that were resolved by the court include “whether the trial court could still assume jurisdiction over a pre-election matter held by the party on 10th December, 2014, which action was brought by the respondent on 21st May, 2015 and/or whether the assumption of jurisdiction of trial court has not become an academic exercise over a pre-election matter held the party on 10th December, 2014…..
“Whether the trial court was right to have made findings and pronounced on the issue of the propriety or validity of the suspension of 1st respondent by the 1st Appellant when the propriety or validly of the suspension of the respondent was not part of his relief sought…
“Whether it is the duty of the trial court to make findings and pronouncements on every issue placed before it by the parties or whether it is not the duty of trial court to make findings and pronouncement on the competence of affidavit evidence….which was made an issue before the trial court by the counsel to the appetent, and whether the trial court can assume jurisdiction over an internal or domestic affair of the 1st appellant for the sponsorship and nomination of her candidate to the 4th appellant.”