Former Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki
By Tobi Soniyi
The former Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Tuesday told the Court of Appeal in Abuja to dismiss an appeal filed by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Alhaji Lasisi Ayinla Kolawole Jimoh, challenging his emergence as the senator representing Kwara Central senatorial district.
Saraki asked the court to decline jurisdiction in the appeal brought before it by Jimoh on the grounds that the appellant lacked the locus standi to institute the appeal against him.
Saraki’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), told the court that Jimoh did not participate in the last National Assembly election in Kwara State and therefore could not challenge the outcome of the election.
He also argued that the primary election that produced him was a domestic affairs of PDP which in law, could not be inquired into by any law court.
Saraki and Jimoh who are members of the ruling PDP are embroiled in fierce legal battle on who was the party’s candidate for the Kwara Central senatorial district in the last National Assembly election.
Jimoh had sued Saraki at a Federal High Court in Abuja where he challenged the nomination of Saraki as the PDP flag bearer on the grounds that a by-election that produced him was not conducted in accordance with law.
But the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta upheld the nomination of Saraki by PDP and dismissed the suit by Jimoh for being frivolous.
In his judgment delivered in Abuja on Friday March 30th 2012 , Justice Auta held that the suit was baseless and lacking in merit because it failed to disclose any irregularity, fraud or malpractices in the process that produced Saraki.
The judge held that there was a primary election conducted by PDP on January 7, 2012 won by one Alhaji Isiaka Gold with 1,064 and that the plaintiff (Jimoh) came second with 12 votes.
Justice Auta also agreed that there was a bye election by the PDP following the resignation of Alhaji Isiaka Gold as the party’s candidate and won by Saraki to emerge as the new PDP senatorial candidate for the zone.
The court disagreed with the claim of the plaintiff that the bye-election was not conducted according to the electoral laws.