April 10, 2019

S-Court strikes out appeal by sacked Kwara APC Excos

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, terminated further hearing on an appeal that was lodged before it by the Balogun Fulani-led Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kwara State.

The group had approached the apex court to reverse what they termed as their illegal dissolution by the national leadership of the APC.

They contended that the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole arbitrarily sacked them from office before the expiration of their tenure, following an allegation that they engaged in anti-party activities.

The Fulani-led EXCOs, in the notice of appeal they filed on February 14, urged the apex court to set-aside the judgment of the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal, which had on February 12, struck out their case.

However, in a ruling on Wednesday, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, unanimously struck out the appeal for being incompetent.

Justice Oluwakayode Ariwoola who read the lead judgment, agreed with counsel to the Respondents that the suit was incompetent since the record of appeal was transmitted to the Supreme Court after the 14-day timeframe allowed by the rules.

The apex court noted that since the case bordered on pre-election issues, the appellants, ought to have completed the appeal filing processes within the time limit that was prescribed in the law.

Justice Ariwoola stressed that the appellants failed to transmit the record of appeal from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court until March 4.

“The appeal is adjudged to be lacking in merit. It is struck out for being incompetent,” he held.

The appellants had through their lawyer, Mr. Yusuf Alli, SAN, prayed the apex court to expedite hearing on the matter, adding that the 60 days period allowed by law for the appeal to be heard will expire on April 12.

However, Oshiomhole’s lawyer, Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, and that of the APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, queried the competence of the appeal, saying there was no such urgency in the matter since the litigants did not claim that they contested any election in Kwara State.