Court sacks Aidoko as Kogi East Senator

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JUSTICE Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday sacked the Senator representing Kogi East, Senator Atai Aidoko.

The court also ordered the Clerk of the National Assembly to withdraw all privileges being accorded to Aidoko.

In its judgment, the court held that Aidoko was not property nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the March 2015 election.

Justice Kolawole ordered the immediate swearing of Air Marshall Isaac Alfa by the Clerk of the National Assembly.

He said: “I hereby order the Clerk of the National Assembly to swear in AVM Alfa as the newly elected Kogi East to immediately replace Aidoko

“The plaintiff has proved that the result of the primary election, which he produced, are genuine and he scored the highest number of votes in the election.”

The court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a fresh certificate of return to Alfa, being the winner of the December 7, 2014 PDP primaries for the National Assembly election.

The court awarded a cost of N1.5 million against PDP and Aidoko.

The trial judge also condemned the ways and manner in which the PDP subverted the result of the primaries and held that rogue documents were used by the PDP to submit Aidoko’s name to INEC.

The purported nomination of Aidoko by PDP to INEC was an exercise in futility to rob the plaintiff the fruit of his election in the primary.

Justice Kolawole said from the totality of the evidence placed before the court, it was clear that Sheidu Idoma was the Returning Officer for the senatorial election and not Umar Sanusi.

According to the court, the fact was corroborated by key witnesses in their statements made on oath.

The judge also said the fact that the sacked senator refused to call his agent at the primary election, Mallam Farouk Adejo, left a credibility gap on the side of Aidoko.

Justice Kolawole had earlier dismissed the preliminary objection by Aidoko challenging jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.

He described the preliminary objection as an abuse of court process employed by Aidoko to delay the trial.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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