Law News
Ekweremadu moves to stop judgment in Senate forgery suit

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has commenced moves to stop Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja to deliver its reserved judgment in the suit challenging his election and that of Bukola Saraki as the Senate President on July 9, 2015, when the 8th Senate was proclaimed.

Plaintiffs in the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/651/2015, are five members of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate — Abu Ibrahim, Kabir Marafa, Ajayi Boroffice, Olugbenga Ashafa and Suleiman Hunkuyi.

The plaintiffs, in their suit dated July 27, 2015, asked the court to void the election of both Saraki and Ekweremadu on the grounds that the 2015 version of the Senate Standing Orders used for the conduct of their elections was forged.

Ekweremadu, who is the second among the five defendants to the suit, is seeking to stop the court from delivering its judgment by asking for the transfer of the suit from Justice Ademola to another judge after it had been heard and the decision of the court on it reserved.

Other defendants in the suit are Saraki, the National Assembly and the Clerks of the National Assembly.

Ekweremadu, accusing Justice Ademola of bias in the handling of the suit, filed his application dated December 17, 2015, seeking the transfer of the case to another judge on December 18, which was about four days after the matter was heard and reserved for judgment.

His application anchored on provisions of Order 9 Rule 2 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules was heard and reserved for judgment on December 14.

The Deputy Senate President, who is also a lawyer, alleged that he had no confidence in Justice Ademola’s ability to determine the case impartially on the grounds that the judge was allegedly close to the All Progressives Congress, whose members sought to remove him from office, and the National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.

The application read in part, “Honourable Justice A. Ademola is closely associated with the All Progressives Congress and top hierarchy of the party.

“I have incontrovertible evidence that the Honourable Justice A. Ademola is a very close friend of Chief Bola Tinubu, the leader of the All Progressives Congress.

“As a result of his closeness to the All Progressives Congress and to ensure that he does their bidding, Honourable Justice Ademola’s wife, Mrs. Olabowale Toluwalope Ademola, was on October 19, 2015 sworn in as a Head of Service in Lagos State, a state under the APC and a position which held at the pleasure of the APC governor in Lagos State.

“There is a real likelihood of bias on the part of the Honourable Justice A. Ademola and I do not have confidence in his Lordship’s ability to determine this matter in the most impartial manner.”

The application addressed to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, was also accompanied by a separate letter to the Chief Judge.

Both the application and the letter, copies of which were obtained by our correspondent, were personally signed by Ekweremadu.

Lawyers to the parties appeared before the court on Friday, when Justice Ademola initially refused to further handle the case.


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