APPEAL COURT DISMISES ALIERO’S APPEAL, RULES THAT A REMITTED PETITION CANNOT BE EXTENDED BY ANOTHER 180 DAYS
The hopes of former Governor of Kebbi State and CPC candidate for Kebbi Central District in 2011 Senatorial Election, Senator Mohammed Adamu Aliero of upsetting the victory of Senator Atiku Bagudu of PDP was dashed over the weekend when the Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto dismissed Aliero’s appeal for lacking in merit.
In a unanimous summary judgment delivered by Hon. Justice Amiru Sanusi and concurred by Justices Datti Yahaya and Sidi Bage, the Court held that the lower Tribunal which struck out Aliero’s petition for being time barred after it was sent for retrial on merits was in order.
The implication of the decision of the Appeal Court is that petitions pending at various Tribunals that were remitted for re-hearing on merits but had exceeded the constitutional duration of 180 days from the date of filing of the petition are now liable to be dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
Prior to the final dismissal of Senator Aliero’s petition, the matter had been remitted for hearing on merits by the Court of Appeal. Upon the petition coming up before a panel headed by Hon. Justice Ka’akan, Senator Bagudu through his counsel, Yusuf Ali, SAN challenged the jurisdiction of the Tribunal re-hear the case contending that the matter had exceeded the 180 days provided by the Constitution. Aliero’s counsel, Kola Awodein SAN argued to the contrary.
The lower Tribunal upheld the objection and struck out the petition. Dissatisfied with the decision, Senator Aliero appealed to the Court of Appeal contending that upon remittance of the petition for hearing on the merits, a fresh 180 days had been generated for the hearing of the petition. Justice Sanusi while dismissing the appeal indicated that fuller reasons for their decision will be delivered in due course.