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2007 poll: Court throws out appeal against Gov Aliyu

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA —  For the third time in less than one year, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, yesterday triumphed at the Court of Appeal in Abuja as the appellate court declined a request by the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, to remove him from office.

The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal turned down the request to unseat him.

The ANPP and its governorship candidate in the 2007 governorship election, Mr David Umaru, had requested the appellate court to remove Aliyu from office on the ground that he was not qualified for the office.

It was the contention of the ANPP and its candidate, among others, that Governor Aliyu did not resign or retire from the federal public service as demanded by law at the time he stood for the election.

However, for the third time, the appeal court held that the petition against the governor was worthless, having been filed outside the mandatory 30 days stipulated by law.

In a unanimous verdict of the court delivered by Justice Mary Peter Odili, the Appeal Court said the petition was so worthless to warrant granting the request of the appellants in the case.

Justice Odili upheld the submission of the governor and other respondents in the suit that the petition was statute barred and amounted to mere academic exercise.

The court made it clear to the appellant that the appeal court was the final bus stop for election petition case and that it would not allow itself to be used as instrument of harassment against any citizen.

The appeal  court had  on Febuary 19, 2009 dismissed the appeal of David Umaru on his petition citing the same reason of being statute barred

But in a dramatic turn, David Umaru returned to court asking that the Febuary 19 judgment be set aside for being a nullity and that a fresh hearing be undertaken

In a motion  to that effect filed by his counsel, Chief Mike Ahamba SAN, Umaru claimed that he was denied fair hearing and justice because the petition was determined by the court on technicality instead of merit.

…dismisses Dariye’s appeal

By Emman Ovuakporie

ABUJA — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday secured a major victory against former Governor of Plateau State, Chief Joshua Dariye, as the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, dismissed the appeal he filed challenging the jurisdiction of the High Court of the FCT, Abuja to try him on a 23-count charge of stealing, misappropriation of state fund and criminal breach of trust involving N700 milion preferred against him by the EFCC.

Justice Uwani Musa Abaaji in his lead judgment also consented to by Justices Mary Odili and Abdu Aboki  held that the Abuja High Court has jurisdiction to try him and that the EFCC had a prima facie case against him.

The Judge also ruled that the EFCC has locus standi to try Joshua Dariye on all the charges against him and that he can be tried in Abuja.

Dariye had approached the Court of Appeal, Abuja, praying the court to quash the charges against him as they lacked merit. He had also prayed the High Court to suspend proceedings until the determination of the appeal he filed.


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