By Taiye Agbaje
The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Social-cultural Association, has approched the Court of Appeal in its bid to upturn the Federal High Court Judgment which refused its challenge of the Anti-open grazing law being implemneted bythe Benue state governemnt.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on July 4, presided by Justice Okon Abang declined to stop implementation of the law enacted by the Benue State House of Assembly in 2017.
In dismissing the Suite however, Justice Abang awarded N100,000 cost in favour of each of the 14 defendants in the case and ordered that the fines be paid before the plaintiffs could appeal agaisnt the judgment.
The appellants in the case include the Fulani group, Alhaji Abdullahi Bodojo and Mr Saleh Alhassan, while the respondents are National Assembly, Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector General of Police, Benue State House of Assembly and the Benue government, among others.
In the notice of appeal filed on July 30, the plaintiffs sought from the Court of Appeal ”an order allowing the appeal and an order setting aside the lower court’s judgment and ordering a re-hearing of the matter before another judge of the lower court.”
They raised 10 grounds of appeal.
The appellants argued that the lower court was in error in holding that they had no valid originating summons even when they filed an amended one.
”The appellants filed an irregular and voidable amended originating summons on the May 31 without payment of the default tees.
”Yet the lower court held that the originating summons is invalid and a nullity.
”It is trite law that a mistake of counsel cannot be visited on the litigant especial when it is pardonable and the irregular amended process filed on the May 31 is before the court and the lower court have the duty to ensure that the suit of the appellants is heard on the merit.
”The lower court ought not to shut out a litigant by dismissing his claim when the process of court is amended in error without seeking extension of time to amend same.
”More so all the respondents have filed their various counter affidavits against the originating summons.
”The failure to pay the default fees or filing fees for the amended originating summons filed on May 31 only made it at worst a voidable and not void or a nullity.
”The lower court can order the payment of the default fees pursuant to the relevant Rules of the lower court,” they said.
According to them, the under assessment or failure of payment of default filing fees cannot be a basis of punishing the litigant with an order of dismissal of the suit.
“The non-compliance with order 17 rule six of the lower court civil procedure Rules have nothing to do with the jurisdiction of the lower court.
”The low court determined the substantive suit at the interlocutory stage of the suit by holding that the 4th defendant IawfuIIy enacted the Grazing Prohibition ad Ranches Establishment Law 2017 ad further held that the law was duly assented to by the Governor of the Benue in a ruling tagged as judgment,” they said. (NAN)
CJN Swear in 23 Federal High Court Judges, Wednesday
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Olukayode Ariwoola will swear in the newly appointed 23 Judges of the Federal High Court on Wednesday.
A statement by the Director of Press and Information of the Supreme Court, Dr. Festus Akande on Sunday said, the Judges will be sworn in at 11:00 am at the main courtroom of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The new Judges according to the statement are: Dipeolu Deinde Isaac from Ogun State; Ogundare Kehinde Olayiwola from Ekiti State; Agbaje Olufunmilola Adetutu from Lagos State; Musa Kakaki from Kaduna State; Abdullahi Muhammad Dan-Ige from Sokoto State; and Sharon Tanko Ishaya from Kebbi State.
Others are: Salim Olasupo Ibrahim from Ogun State; Yilwa Hauwa Joseph from Gombe State; Wigwe-Oreh Chituru Joy from Rivers State; Owoeye Alexander Oluseyi from Kogi State; Anyalewa Onoja-Alapa from Benue State; Amina Aliyu Mohammad from Katsina State; Abiodun Jordan Adeyemi from Kwara State; Hauwa Buhari from Federal Capital Territory; and Aishatu Auta Ibrahim from Borno State.
The rest according to the statement are Hussaini Dadan-Garba from Bauchi State; Ibrahim Ahmad Kala from Gombe State; Mashkur Salisu from Zamfara State; Onah Chigozie Sergius from Enugu State; Egbe Raphael Joshua from Bayelsa State; Ariwoola Olukayode Jnr. from Oyo State; Ekerete Udofot Akpan from Akwa Ibom State; and Ogazi Friday Nkemakonam from Ebonyi State.
Akande also said, a valedictory Court session will be held on Tuesday, 10th October, 2023, in honour of the late Justice Chima Centus Nweze at the main courtroom of the Supreme Court at 10:00 am.
As customary, he said, the Chief Justice of Nigeria will preside over the session which will, among other things, feature the presentation of tributes by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Chairman of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) and President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in honour of the departed Jurist.
It will be recalled that Justice Nweze died on Saturday, July 29, 2023 in Abuja after a brief illness at the age of 64 years. He was sworn-in as Justice of the Supreme Court on October 29, 2014.
The late Justice of the Supreme Court was born in Obollo, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State on 25th September 1958 and attended St. John Cross Seminary, Nsukka from 1972 to 1977.
He gained admission into the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus in 1979 where he graduated with a Degree in Law in 1983. In the same year, he represented the Law Faculty and, indeed, all Nigerian Law Faculties, at the Philip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington DC, as the Chief Oraclist.
His Lordship did his NYSC between 1984 and 1985 in Bauchi, after being called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984. He equally had his Doctorate Degree in Law from the same University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.
Tribunal Sacks PDP Lawmaker In Plateau, Declares APC Candidate Winner
National and State Houses of Assembly election Tribunal has upturned the election of Timothy Dantong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and declared Moses Dachum of All Peoples Congress(APC) winner of the March 18, Riyom state constituency of the Plateau State House of Assembly Election.
The Justice B.M Tukur-led panel held that at the time of the election, PDP had no valid structure to fill in a candidate as the party was still in disobedience to a court order of Justice S P Gang of Plateau State High Court delivered on November 26, 2020.
Tribunal Declares Kaduna Guber Polls Inconclusive
From Nicholas Dekera, Kaduna
The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Kaduna, has declared the 2023 governorship election in Kaduna state inconclusive.
The tribunal, during its resumed proceeding on Thursday, in a split decision of a ratio of 2:1, declared the election inconclusive and directed that a supplementary election be held by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within 90 days.
The three-man panel led by Justice Victor Oviawe therefore, ordered a rerun of election in 24 polling units in seven wards of four local governments consisting of 16,300 registered voters.
The verdict was announced via Zoom after the judges shunned the physical hall.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, in the March 18 election, Isah Mohammed Ashiru had filed the petition challenging the declaration of Senator Uba Sani as Governor.
Ashiru challenged the election of Sani as the Governor of Kaduna State on the grounds of alleged irregularities and electoral fraud, saying that its Candidate (Isa Mohammed Ashiru) won the election.
In a press statement by Hon Isah Ashiru on Thursday night, titled
“Tribunal Nullifes Uba Sani’s Election” Ashiru said, the tribunal, based on the majority of 2:1 judges upheld the preliminary objection of the respondent to the effect that the application for pre-hearing was done prematurely before the service of the last set of petitioners’ reply to the 2nd respondent’s reply to the petition was served.
“However, the law enjoins the tribunal, as a trial court, to proceed to pronounce on the merit of the substantive suit so that in the event the court of appeal finds that the trial tribunal was wrong in its decision on the preliminary objection, it would have the benefit of pronouncing on the decision of the tribunal in the substantive matter.
“Accordingly, the trial tribunal finds merit in the aspect of the petitioner’s case relative to the margin of win between the two leading candidates. The tribunal by a split decision of 2:1 accordingly, nullified the election of the governor of Kaduna state, ordered that the Certificate of Return be retrieved and fresh elections be conducted in some polling units in 4 LGAs and the outcome thereof be reckoned with before the declaration of the winner of the governorship election in Kaduna state.
“I want to again thank the people of the state,”Ashiru stated while urging them all to remain law abiding while we pursue the appeal process.
“One thing I can assure the good people Kaduna state is that I will pursue this mandate you freely gave me to its logical conclusion and by the grace of God, victory on our side.”
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