…Ortom, Tambuwal, Ihedioha, Lalong await judgement
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The Supreme Court, on Monday, abruptly suspended its proceedings, midway after it commenced hearing on an appeal challenging the election of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.
A seven-man panel of justices headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, announced decision of the court to rise, immediately counsel to the appellant, Abba Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, identified and adopted all the processes his client filed against Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the appeal marked SC/1450/2019.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was also cited as a Respondent in the appeal.
After Awomolo adopted his brief of argument and urged the apex court to allow the appeal and nullify Ganduje’s re-election, the CJN, notified all the parties that a member of the panel was “seriously sick”.
He said: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, please for court will abruptly rise because one of us is seriously sick”.
The action marked the second time the apex court panel vacated the court room for their chambers Monday morning.
The CJN had at about 9:02am when the Supreme Court commenced sitting, led other Justices out of the courtroom, citing “excessive noise”.
He warned that the court will not resume until the noise volume which was occasioned by mammoth crowd that struggled for standing space in the court room, was brought down.
Consequently, senior lawyers were restricted to appear with only five juniors, even as security operatives reduced the number of non lawyers in the court.
Meanwhile, when they resumed at about 9:20am, Yusuf’s lawyer, Awomolo, SAN, apologised to the panel for the noisy atmosphere he blamed on non lawyers.
Responding, the CJN said: “It’s alright, but we went out for a different purpose and when the purpose was achieved we came back”.
Meantime, aside Ganduje, the Supreme Court is set to decide the fate of four other governors that emerged victorious in the governorship elections that held across the federation in March 9.
Cases listed on the causelist of the apex court are appeals challenging elections of governors Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Simon Lalong of Plateau and Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
More details soon…