Abuja High Court Reaffirms Wada as Gov-elect

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Kogi State Governor-elect, Mr. Idris Wada
From Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Kogi State Governor-elect, Mr. Idris Wada, yesterday scored a technical victory as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja threw out a case filed by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Emmanuel Abalaka, challenging his candidacy on the grounds that he was not a card- carrying member of the party.
Justice Adamu Bello in his judgment stated that the plaintiff commenced the suit on a wrong procedure.
The judge held that the issues raised in the suit were continuous and could not be resolved by originating summons which was the method adopted by the plaintiffs.
He held that the suit ought to have been commenced through a writ of summons since there were contentious issues for the court to determine.
Justice Bello therefore declined to go into the substance of the case.
He said: “The plaintiff having many contentious issues for the court to determine, which include whether the defendant has a mental problem, should have come through a writ of summons and not originating summons.
“This court cannot go into the merit of the case and the suit is hereby struck out. The plaintiff can come back through a writ of summons. I so hold.”
Abalaka had asked the court to nullify the nomination of Wada as the party's governorship candidate for the December 3, 2011 governorship election in the state.
But Wada’s lawyer, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), objected to the suit on the ground that it was not properly commenced. His objection was upheld by the court.
In an originating summons brought pursuant to Sections 31 (2), 31 (5) (6) of the Electoral Act 2010, the plaintiff asked the court to declare that Wada's nomination by the PDP was null, void and of no consequence.
Abalaka also asked the court for an order to disqualify Wada from contesting the December 3, 2011 governorship poll as well as an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Wada’s candidacy in the poll.
PDP and INEC were joined as respondents alongside Wada in Abalaka’s suit brought before the court through his counsel Bola Aidi.

Abalaka’s lawyer, Bola Aidi, had argued that Wada was not a card carrying member of PDP as at the time he was nominated by the party as its governorship candidate for the election, alleging also that he falsely claimed party membership on oath.
He also alleged that Wada had a record of mental disorderliness from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
He therefore said that Wada was “not a fit and proper person to contest the governorship of Kogi State”.

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