NASS members sacked by Appeal Court


he Appeal Court handling election legal tussles in Nigeria has delivered judgement on some cases involving members of the National Assembly.

While some judgements favours some, others were knocked out of their seats.

The judgements of the Appeal Court affected some senstors while others affect members of the House of Representatives and major parties who participated in 2023 elections were affected.

Prominent among the senators sacked by the Appeal Court include Senator, Elisha Abbo from

 Adamawa North and the Senate Minority Chief Whip, Darlington Nwokocha; and Simon Mwadkwon, who represented Plateau North.

Below are the lawmakers sacked by the Court of Appeal.

1. Simon Mwadkwon

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on October 23 nullified the election of the Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District in the National Assembly and the Minority leader of the Senate, Simon Mwadkwon.

A three-member panel of the appellate court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the district within 90 days.

The appeal was filed by Chris Giwa of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Gyang Zi of the Labour Party (LP), challenging the judgment of the petitions tribunal.

The appellants had contended that Mwadkwon was not qualified to contest the election because the PDP failed to comply with a previous order of a Plateau high court delivered in 2020.

In its judgment, the appellate court agreed that the high court order was not fully complied with by the PDP as 12 LGAs did not participate in the said party congress.

2. Musa Kwankwaso

The Court of Appeal in Abuja sacked Musa Ilyasu Kwankwaso of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and declared Yusuf Umar Datti of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as the winner of the Kura/Madobi/Garun Malam Federal Constituency Election.

The three-panel led by Justice Tunde Oyebamiji Awotoye ruled that the tribunal was wrong to have counted the date of the Appellant’s resignation on the date of his party’s primary election and that Section 77 of the Electoral Act was misapplied, saying no court has jurisdiction on the issue of membership of the party.

3. Darlington Nwokocha

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, also sacked Darlington Nwokocha, the Senate Minority Chief Whip, representing Abia Central on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

The court declared Augustine Akobundu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the authentic winner of the 25 February election in the senatorial district.

Akobundu, a retired colonel, is a former Minister of State for Defence and former National Organising Secretary of the PDP.

4. Elisha Abbo

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, also sacked Senator Elisha Ishaku Abbo, the lawmaker representing Adamawa North Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

The court voided the election of Abbo of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in favour of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amos Yohanna.

The Court of Appeal, after hearing arguments from parties, agreed with Usman that based on Section 137 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the results tendered showed that there was no compliance with the Electoral Act.

The court, after that, deducted the invalid votes from both parties and found that Yohanna and the PDP won the election by a majority of lawful votes.

5. Jingi Rufai

An Appeal court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, also sacked the member representing Mubi North, Mubi South and Maiha of Adamawa State at the House of Representatives, Hon. Jingi Rufai.

The court had sacked the People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate at the 2023 National Assembly election while declaring Hon. Jaafar Magaji of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the election for the constituency & ordered INEC to issue him with a certificate of return.

6. Abubakar Ohere

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal affirmed Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan (PDP) as the winner of the Kogi Central Senatorial Election conducted earlier in February.

The court dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Abubakar Sadiku Ohere (APC, Kogi Central) for lacking in merit.

Recall that in September, the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal in Lokoja had nullified the victory of the Senate Chairman Committee on Local Content, Ohere of the All Progressives Congress.

He, however, headed to the appellate court to seek redress, but the court rejected his appeal and upheld Akpoti-Uduagan as the election winner.

7. Mohammed Salihu

The Court of Appeal in Abuja set aside the judgment of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, which had affirmed Mohammed Salihu as duly nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Recall that Salihu contested for the Girei/Yola South/Yola North federal constituency election in the House of Representatives and won.

The lower court had dismissed the petition filed by Abubakar Zango of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which contended that Salihu was, at the time of the National Assembly elections, not qualified to run because he allegedly presented a forged primary school and birth certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Dissatisfied with the ruling, Abubakar approached the appeal court to set aside the judgment and declare him as the duly elected House of Representatives member for the disputed constituency.

The appellate court, therefore, sacked Salihu and affirmed Zango as the winner of the election.

8. Napoleon Bali

The election of Senator Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Plateau South Senatorial Constituency was also nullified by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

The tribunal declared that former Governor Simon Bako Lalong, who contested the senatorial seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and emerged second, should be declared the winner.


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