Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A group known as the Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace (MBMJP) has called on the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to obey court orders and swear in Air Marshal Isaac Alfa (rtd.) as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker representing Kogi East Senatorial District in the red chamber of the National Assembly.
The group made the call, on Saturday, in Makurdi, through its Convener, Comrade Joe Bukka, while disclosing that the battle for the seat started after the PDP primaries in December 2014 between Air Marshal Alfa and Senator Attai Aidoko after the victory of the former was allegedly overturned through falsified documents.
Bukka said Alfa immediately approached an Abuja Federal High Court, where Justice Nnamdi Dimgba on April 18, 2016 declared him the rightful candidate and winner of the Kogi East seat.
He explained further that Sen. Aidoko, not comfortable with the judgement of the High court, appealed the ruling and got a judgment at the Court of Appeal on December 14, 2016 which ordered that a Certificate of Return should be issued to him even when it was not part of the reliefs he sought.
“Not satisfied, Isaac Alfa approached the Supreme Court and on June 16, 2017. The Apex Court remitted the case back to the Federal High Court for fresh trial before a different judge and to take oral pleadings from parties which effectively rendered the Senate seat vacant.
“And on June 13, 2018, Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja Federal High Court in his ruling on the matter held that Sen. Aidoko was not even qualified to have been nominated by the PDP to contest the senatorial general election in 2015.
“He ordered that the INEC should forthwith withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier issued to Send. Aidoko and issue a fresh Certificate of Return to Alfa after which he awarded a cost N750,000 each against the PDP and the senator.
“The Senate President and the Clerk of the National Assembly were also directed to take immediate steps to swear in Alfa as member of the Senate of the 8th Assembly and cease to give any recognition and attachments of the privileges of office to Senator Aidoko.
“Hence with that judgement of the Supreme Court and the lower courts no earlier Certificate of Return, existed. So, Senator Aidoko cannot rely on any earlier Certificate to remain in the Senate and appeal the present judgement of the Federal High Court.”
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