TENURE ELONGATION: APPEAL COURT CONSOLIDATES 3 APPEALS
The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has consolidated three of the five appeals filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) challenging the judgment of Justice Adamu Bello of a Federal High Court in Abuja which had stopped it from conducting governorship elections in five states.
The electoral body, in a bid to set aside the judgment, lodged a total of five separate appeals against the judgment on the tenure of governors Ibrahim Idris, Murtala Nyako, Liyel Imoke, Timipre Sylva and Aliu Wamako of Kogi, Adamawa, Cross River, Bayelsa and Sokoto states.
Justice Paul Galinje who presided over Monday's proceedings said the appeals filed by INEC so far were against the five state governors. According Justice Galinje, the separate appeals against the five states' governors were received and listed separately for hearing.
He added that the three which were agreed by parties to be consolidated were the ones against the governors of Adamawa, Sokoto and Kogi states.
Justice Galinje added that the rest two against governors Timipreye Sylva and Liyel Imoke of Bayelsa and Cross River states respectively would be consolidated with the remaining three on April 7.
Justice Bello had stopped INEC from conducting governorship election in the affected states, saying there were no vacancies for now. Delivering his judgment which lasted for about two hours in the consolidated suits the judge had stated that their tenures would not expire until some time next year.
He held that the tenure of the governors legally started in 2008 when they took fresh oath of office and allegiance following the nullification of their April 14, 2007 elections by the courts.
The court held that since 2007 elections were nullified and set aside by competent courts, the oath of office and allegiance subscribed to by the five governors had all been nullified and set aside along with the elections.