Kogi Guber: Echocho Writes INEC To Stop December 3 Election

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The winner of the January Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election in Kogi state, Jibrin Isah Echocho had written to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral  Commission,(INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega asking him to stop the December 3 governorship election in the state pending the determination of the suit challenging the nomination of Idris Wada as the statndard bearer of the party.
A PDP chieftain in Kogi, Umar Lawal had earlier approached the court seeking an order to declare the primary that produced Wada as invalid and illegal, praying the court to uphold the January primary election which produced Echocho as the statndard bearer of the party in the forthcoming December 3 governorship poll in the state.
Echocho had in a letter dated November 17, 2011, addressed to the chairman of INEC, Professor Jega signed by his counsel, R.O Adakole of S.I Ameh SAN and Co. tittled ‘Notice of pendency of action and the need to maintain status quo, re:suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/807/2011, Umar A. Lawal Vs Independent National Elecvtoral Commission and 2 ors and Alhaji Jibrin Isah’ and made available to Nigerian Tribune in Abuja.
The letter reads in part,”We wish to recall that the above suit was commenced against your commission vie leave of the honorable court granted on the 21st dat of September, 2011 whereof the applicant was granted to apply for order of judicial review by way on mandamus,prohibition and other declarative reliefs.
“Upon the grant of the said leave, the enrolled order of the honorable court and tye motion on notice were duly served on your commission and the other parties. We wish to note that the subject matter of the pending action against your commission and the others in the above mentioned suit is the determination of the question of- “who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Kogi state governorship election, which you had slated for December 3, 2011.
“TAKE NOTICE that in view of the subsisting action, the res of the matter is subjudice and all actions must wait the determination of the question/actioin as to do otherwise will not only be contemptous but an affront on the course of Justice.
“On the premises of the foregoing, we hereby enjoin you to refrain from taking any further steps including holding of any election pending the determination of the substantive suit”.
Echocho had won the PDP guber primary held in January before a Federal High Court elongated the tenure of five state governors, Kogi inclusive.
When the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released another time table, Kogi PDP had gone ahead to conduct another primary election which Idris Wada emerged as the winner.
But Lawal had approached the court asking it to declare that the January primary election where Isah won is still valid and subsists and thereby the September primary election should be cancelled.
He premised his argument on the ground that the only time a candidate can be changed is when the incumbent is dead or he willingly opts out adding that in the instant matter, the winner of the January primary election is not dead and has not opted out.
At the last adjourned date,the presiding judge, Justice Bilikisu Aliyu after hearing the joinder application brought by Echocho and Wada seeking to be joined in the suit granted same .
The court later adjourned to November 24 for hearing in the matter.


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