A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, granted an order of referral of the suit challenging the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to re-contest in the March 28 election to the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.
The trial judge, Justice Abubakar Ramat Mohammed, granted the referral order to the appellate court for the interpretation of Sections 135 (2)(a)(b) and 137(1)(b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended as it relates to tenure of a president.
Two plaintiffs, who claimed to be presidential aspirants – Adejumo Ajagbe and Olatoye Wahab, had approached the court seeking the referral of their suit challenging Jonathan’s eligibility on the grounds that the suit raised, “a substantial question of law” which the Court of Appeal has to make pronouncement on.
But the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke, who is one of the two defendants in the suit, opposed the application.
Represented in the matter by Kenechucku Nomeh, from the law firm of Ade Okeaya-Inneh, the AGF argued that the plaintiffs’ application for referral was a ploy to delay the hearing and the disposal of the main suit.
AGF also argued that his counsel, Okeaya-Inneh, was representing the president in an appeal on the same subject matter, challenging Jonathan’s eligibility at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, “hence there is no need for the referral.”
In his ruling on the objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the referral without assuming the legal right to hear the substantive suit, Justice Mohammed held that the court could at the same time hear the issue of jurisdiction alongside the referral application.
Source: Tribune


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