Ofa LG Chairmanship election petition: ACN accuses Kwara State Appellate Session of the High Court of bias


The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has expressed serious doubt over the ability of the Kwara State Session of
the High Court to do justice in the appeal filed by the party against the decision of the Election Petition Tribunal on
the Chairmanship of Ofa Local Government.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said
its concerns stemmed from a number of factors, including the improper constitution of the court, its perpetual refusal of
ACN’s applications while granting that of the PDP and the frustration of ACN’s appeal to the Court of Appeal on the
decisions of the High Court’s decision.
It therefore appealed to all lovers of democracy and rule of law to prevail on their Lordships of the High Court of Kwara
State to ensure that justice is not only done in this case, but that it is seen to have been done.
ACN is challenging the decision of the Election Petition Tribunal on the basis that the Tribunal exceeded its jurisdiction in the
determination of the election petition filed by the PDP and its candidates against the victory of the ACN candidate during
the re-run election into the Chairmanship of Ofa Local Government held on January 12th, 2011.
The party has observed, however, that since the inception of its appeal, the Kwara State Appellate Session of the High Court
has always been improperly constituted by just two judges, contrary to the requirement of the law that three judges must sit to
determine the appeal.
”The implication of the court being composed of only two judges is that there cannot be a majority decision in case there is a
disagreement in the opinion of the two judges, and there would be no way to state the position of the court. This is the basis of the
law requiring a panel on appeal to be composed of odd number of judges,” the party said.

It also said that while all ACN applications have been refused, the court has always granted all applications made by the PDP
as the respondent, while at the same time frustrating ACN’s application to the Court of Appeal on its (Kwara Appellate Session)
”It is trite law that where a party to a matter requests that a case be stated by the High Court to the Court of Appeal on interpretation of any provision of the Constitution, the High Court has no choice in the matter as it is bound to so grant the application.
”It is rather disappointing that their Lordships of the High Court of Kwara State are hell-bent on determining this case in a proceeding which has shown an outright bias in favour of the respondent, PDP. Pursuant to that, the ACN’s application for case stated to the Court of
Appeal, which raised a recondite point of law on whether the Local Government Election Petition Tribunal had the jurisdiction to interpret any provision of the Constitution and declare certain provisions of the Kwara State Local Government Electoral Law, 2004 illegal, was rather refused by the High Court of Kwara State in a questionable proceeding.

”This is quite worrisome as we believe it is the constitutional right of every litigant who is displeased with the decision of a court of law to appeal against same in accordance with the law. While the Notice of Appeal have been filed in this case more than a week ago, their Lordships have refused to allow us compile the record of proceedings by which the appeal would be transmitted to the Court of Appeal,” ACN said.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)
Lagos, Dec.19th 2012



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