Court threatens to jail Saraki, NASS clerk over Kogi Senator

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday threatened to commit the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori to prison if they further fail to obey its order of June 13, 2018.

The court had ordered Saraki and Sani-Omolori to swear-in Air vice Marshal Isaac Mohammed Alfa (rtd) as the Senator representing Kogi east, just as it ordered Senator Attai Aidoko (PDP, Kogi east) to vacate the seat because he was not validly elected.

The presiding judge then, Justice Gabriel Kolawole (now Justice of the Court of Appeal) in addition ordered Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to re-issue certificate of return in favour of Alfa.

Despite the validation of the Federal High Court judgement by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, Aidoko had through his lawyer, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN) on January 28, 2019, filed another suit before the same Federal High Court, asking it to set aside its order of June 13, 2018.

The Federal High Court on February 21, 2019, struck out the suit on the grounds that its order of June 13, 2018, is still valid and subsisting.

But Alfa’s lawyer, Reuben Egwuaba, applied for ‘’Form 48’’ which is a ’’notice of consequences of disobedience to order of the Federal High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court’’.

However, the Court yesterday granted Alfa’s application to warn Saraki and Sani-Omolori against further delay to inaugurate him As Senator.

Justice Inyang Ekwo held that Saraki and Sani-Omolori should, ‘’take notice that unless you obey the order contained in this order you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison’’.

Senator Aidoko’s appeal against Justice Kolawole’s judgement at the Court of Appeal was dismissed on October 24, 2018, thereby affirming the Federal High Court judgement.

He further appealed against the Court of Appeal Judgement before the Supreme Court which was struck out on January 23, 2019 on the ground that it was caught by the amendment to Section 285 of the constitution, which took effect from June 7 last year.

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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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