The Supreme Court has adjourned indefinitely, hearing in the Governorship Election Appeal filled by Emmanuel Jime and APC against the return of Samuel Ortom of PDP by INEC in the Benue 2019 governorship elections.
On the appointed date, which notice will be served both parties, the apex court will also hear the appeal by Ortom against Jime, APC, INEC, PDP.
The adjournment came on the heels of urgency in hearing and determining Governorship election appeals in some states, whose time is running out in the face of the enabling laws.
On 28th November, 2019, the Court of Appeal Makurdi Judicial Division and sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) dismissed appeal by Jime and APC over Benue Governorship election.
It is understood that the Supreme Court has up to 27th January, 2020 to hear and determine appeals arising from that judgment.
With today’s adjourment, the apex court has no more than 13 days, to hear and determine the appeals.
Both Jime and Ortom have appealed the decision of the Appellate Court, wherein the judgment of the Tribunal affirming the return of Ortom as Benue State Governor was affirmed.
Omale Omale, Benue State APC Legal Adviser and counsel on the Appellants’ legal team, in urging the people of Benue State to wait the outcome of the appeal said their Lordships of the Supreme Court “know what the position of the law is,” with respect to election appeals.
“They are mindful that the matter is time bound. And they know that they have capacity to deliver justice in the appeal. We are optimististic that our appeal will be determined within time.
“That is why on our part, we will continue to remind the court, even as we maintain confidence in the judiacry. We are hopeful that our appeal will succeed and the people of Benue state will have the cause to smile,” Omale told reporters shortly after adjourment.
Vangerbee Uhamber, agree with the Supreme Court that matters with a shorter deadline be taken first.
“Our case will expire on 27th January. Therefore, we still have a little bit of time. Those ones more urgent. The Supreme Court, in its wisdom has decided to entertain appeals whose time will elapse soon, after which hearing notice will be communicated to us,” Uhamber of Jime and APC’s counsel said.
Jime and APC wants the Sipreme Court to hold among other things that the appellants, sufficiently exhibited and demonstrated non accreditation in Polling Units complained of at the Governorship Elwction Tribunal in Makurdi, the Benue State capital and the court of first instance erred in law when it refused to attach weight to the w
The Appellants are therefore, inviting the apex court to set aside the decisions of the two courts below it, and hold that Jime and not Ortom was the lawful winner of the 2019 Benue Governorship election.
However, Ortom’s lead counsel Sabastine Hon, SAN is of the view that it remains a waste of time. According to Hon, the matter bas long been settled and no amount of persuation would move the Supreme Court to hold otherwise, than affirm the decision of the courts below it.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Jime/Ode Campaign Organisation Tersoo Kulas, has called on the APC supporters and the people of Benue State “to remain calm. Our team of counsel have put together a strong case before the Supreme Court and we are hopeful that at the end of the day, we shall come out victorious.
“What is more? Our appeal is still within the time allowed by the electoral act and the Constitution.”
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