Law News
Court okays service of suit challenging Yobe gov’s eligibility
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered that the Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, be served with the processes of the suit challenging his eligibility to contest in the April 11, 2015 governorship election.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in his ruling on ‎an ex parte application by the plaintiffs, ordered that the governor and the Independent National Electoral Commission be served through newspaper publication.
He also ordered that Gaidam and INEC, who are the defendants in the suit, to respond to the suit within seven days after the publication.
There is also a petition pending before the Yobe State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, challenging the governor’s victory in the April 11 poll.
Gaidam, who was deputy governor, took over as governor in January 2009, following the death of the former governor, Mamman Ali.
He subsequently won the 2011 governorship election. He also won the April 11, 2015 election again on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
‎The two plaintiffs, Ayuba Sabo and Ahmed Abubakar‎, who were governorship aspirants and  members of the APC like the governor, had instituted the suit before the April 11 poll.
They argued that if Gaidam was allowed to contest the election and declared winner, he would be spending the third term in office contrary to the provisions of the constitution.
They hinged their suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/319/15‎, on the provisions of sections 180(2)(b) and 182(1)(b) 191(1)‎ of the constitution, contending that Gaidam, having taken the oath of office on two previous occasions,  was no longer eligible to contest the April 11 election.
An affidavit, filed in support of the suit, stated that with Gaidam re-election, he “will end up spending three terms of a period of 10 years and four months, as against the provision of the 1999 Constitution, which allows only for two terms of a period of eight years, each term being just four years each.”
‎The plaintiffs, through their counsel, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), submitted 10 issues for determination.
‎Part of their prayers read, “A declaration that having regard to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) it is not unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal and not permissible for any person to occupy the office of a governor of a state of Nigeria for more than a cumulative and or aggregate period of eight years when it is practicable to hold election into the office of the governor of Yobe State.
“A declaration that by virtue of section 180(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the tenure of office of Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, the 1st defendant herein, as the governor of Yobe State, began on May 29, 2007 when he took the oath of office as the deputy governor alongside the last holder of the office, the late Mamman Ali, thus making his two terms terminable on May, 29, 2015, having won the second term in May 2011.
“An order of injunction restraining the 1st defendant from contesting or attempting to vie for the office of the governor of Yobe State, or occupying same after 28 May, 2015, when his tenure, compromising two terms of eight years shall by the constitution would have come to an end.
Click here to read from source.