S/Court to hear suit challenging Jonathan’s eligibility Dec 16

President Jonathan Goodluck

The Supreme Court will on Monday, December 16 hear an appeal brought before it by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Umar Ardo, challenging the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja division, which refused to join him as a party in an appeal filed by one Cyriacus Njoku.

The apex court fixed the date against the background that nomination of candidates by political parties will close on December 18.

It will be recalled that Njoku had approached an Abuja High Court in 2012 to stop Jonathan from re-contesting in 2015, but Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi dismissed the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

Not satisfied, Njoku proceeded to the Court of Appeal, where Ardo sought to be joined as co-appellant but was refused.

The court stopped Ardo from joining in the appeal on the ground that he was not a party at the lower court.

Not satisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, Ardo approached the apex court to set that judgment aside.

Ardo, through his counsel, Dr Amuda Kannike, in an appeal marked:  CA/4/574/2013 SC 769/2014, wants the court to, among others, give top an order granting him leave to appeal against the judgment of the Abuja High Court in suit marked: FCT/HC/CV/244/12 between Njoku and Jonathan delivered on March 1, 2014.

He joined President Jonathan, PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Cyriacus Njoku as respondents in the appeal.

When the matter came up on Monday, counsel to President Jonathan, Ade Okeaya-Inneh, told the court that he had responded to the appellant’s brief.

Counsel for second respondent, C.I Paul and fourth respondent, O.O Obla prayed the court for a short adjournment in order to respond to the appellant’s submissions.

Counsel for INEC, Al-Hassan Umar, however, told the court that he would remain neutral and abide by the decision of the court.

The presiding judge, Justice Tanko Mohammed, later adjourned till December 16 for hearing and ordered parties to file and serve their responses within seven days.

In the preliminary objection to the appeal, Jonathan had asked the apex court to dismiss the appeal on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain such.

Jonathan had hinged his objection on the decision of the Supreme Court in C.C & Ind. S.P.R Limited Versus Ogun state Water Corporation (OSWC) (2002) 4 SC (Pt II) 86 at 98. —-Nigerian Tribune