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NIGER GUBER TUSSLE RESUMES AT APPEAL COURT TUESDAY

By NBF News
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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja will on Tuesday resume sitting on the protracted dispute over the April 14, 2007 governorship election Niger State between the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate, David Umaru, and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Dr Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu.

The Senior Registrar of the appellate court signed the hearing notice for the appeal. The earlier scheduled hearing date of May 5, 2010 could not hold owing to the strike by judiciary workers.

The appellate court will specifically take arguments on the motion to set aside exdebito justiciae (for being a nullity) its subsisting ruling of February 19, 2009 barring the determination on the merits of Umaru's main appeal.

Umaru contended that both the appellate court and the lower tribunal, which earlier heard the cross-appeal, had no jurisdiction ab initio to hear the suit challenging the competence of his petition.

Umaru also averred that the Court of Appeal panel, which heard the contentious cross appeal, erred in law to have allegedly refused to be bound by the Supreme Court pronouncement in Yusuf V. Obasanjo, which pronouncement had emphasized the applicability of both Federal High Court Rules as well as Interpretation Act that stipulate exclusion of date of happening of event in computation of relevant days for filing election petition under the relevant Electoral Act.

Dr Aliyu, on the other hand, submitted that the motion should be struck out, saying it was an abuse of court process and that a faction of the ANPP in the state had congratulated him after the court's subsisting judgment.