As S’Court delivers rulings on appeals .Tension in Ortom, Jime’s camp in Makurdi
Supreme Court on Monday adjourned abruptly the hearings of 13 appeals bordering on the elections of six states Governors till today as one of the justices on the seven man panel suddenly took ill.
The seven man panel led by Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, includes Justice Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Justice Kudirat Keke- Ekun, Justice John Inyang Okoro, Justice Aminu Sanusi and Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji.
The following appeals filed by Abba Kabir Yusuf and another versus the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) challenging the election of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State were listed for hearing.
Others were the appeal filed by Senator Ifeanyi Ararume against INEC, Senator Hope Uzodinma against INEC, Uche Nwosu against INEC and Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto and others versus INEC.
The appeals that would have been heard also includes the appeal filed by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwa of Sokoto State, the appeal filed by Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State, Abdullahi Ganduje’s appeal against Abba Kabir Yusuf and others.
The rest were the appeals filed by Jeremiah Timbut Useni of the PDP against Gov Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State and a cross appeal filed by Governor Lalong, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar’s appeal against Gov Mohammed Bala of Bauchi State, Emmanuel Jime’s appeal against Samuel Loraer Ortom of Benue State and Cross appeal filed by the governor.
Proceedings was on Monday on the appeal filed by Abba Yusuf challenging the election of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State when the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad announced “the court will abruptly rise because one of us is sick”.
The announcement came shortly after counsel for Abba Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Gboyenga Awomolo (SAN), adopted his brief and urged the court to allow the appeal. The justices immediately took their bows in turn and exited the court.
Earlier, on Monday, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad had expressed serious concern over the rowdiness of the court room as politicians and lawyers tried to force their ways into the court room.
The CJN said if the court room was not put in order the proceedings of the day would not go on and the matters were stood down.
Meanwhile, palpable tension is gradually mounting within the ranks of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in Benue State following the decision by the Supreme Court to deliver judgement today.
The apex court was to hear the appeal instituted by Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congress, APC, against the decision of the Court of Appeal which dismissed his appeal and affirmed the decision of the tribunal which upheld the re-election of Governor Samuel Ortom as the Governor of Benue State.
Governor Samuel Ortom whose election is being challenged had on Monday led members of the Benue State executive council including the deputy governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, Secretary to the Benue State government, Prof. Tony Ijohor, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mike Gusah, the state PDP chairman, Sir John Ngbede among others to the court premises before the adjournment.
A believer in Ortom’s administration, Toom Aviashima hopes that the PDP will smile home with victory given that the tribunal and appeal court have affirmed Ortom’s victory.
However, APC supporters are of the opinion that both the tribunal and appeal court have erred in law hence the apex court was out to ‘correct’ the errors committed and urged it supporters to remain calm.
The deputy Director, Jime governorship campaign organisation, Tersoo Kula said there is no cause for panic as the apex court is set to set what he referred to as ‘ record straight’, even as he said APC was ‘robbed’ of victory at the polls.
He said whatever is the decision of the apex court, Benue people would swallow it in the interest of the state and called for patience.