Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Court of Appeal in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday sacked the Hon Ishola Balogun-Fulani faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The court thereafter, affirmed the authenticity of the Hon Bashir Bolarinwa-led APC executives in the state.
The state High Court had on December 19 last year ruled that the dissolved Ishola Balogun-Fulani executive is the authentic exco of the APC in the state.
The lower court thus nullified any candidate produced by the Bashir Bolarinwa executives for the forthcoming elections.
Dissatisfied by the judgement of the lower court, the APC (appellant) approached the appellate court for redress.
The appellants’ grounds for appeal are that “the claimants cannot join the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the state high court because INEC is a federal government agency; the amendment of their originating summons was brought in bad faith.
“They brought issues that were not in existence as at the time of filing the suit originally. Even though the lower court has discretion, its discretion must be exercised judicially and judiciously which was not done in this circumstance.”
The appellate court in an interlocutory judgement it delivered last week upheld the nomination of AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as the state APC governorship candidate.
Reading his judgement on the main appeal yesterday in Ilorin, Justice Ibrahim Salauwa set aside the judgement of the lower court and upheld the Bashir Bolainwa-led executives.
He added there would be no reason to deliver a judgement on the same matter with the same parties after the interlocutory judgement of last week.
Justice Salauwa noted that that “would amount to share fruitless academic exercise which the courts are not meant for.”
Reacting to the judgement, counsel to Hon Bolarinwa, Kamaldeen Gambari, said: “What transpired is the affirmation of the interlocutory judgement which this court delivered sometime last week.
“It said the originating process of Ishola Balogun-Fulani is incurably defective. The state high court has no jurisdiction to go ahead in the matter.”
APC counsel, Lawal Jimoh, said the judgement “has laid to rest all the controversies about the judgement of the state high court delivered on December 19 last year. It nullified the total judgement.
“The issue of Balogun-Fulani parading himself as the APC chairman has been laid to rest.
“This judgement further solidifies that primaries of APC held in October last year in the state. There is no controversy at all. As of today, the APC in the state can go and sleep when it comes to the issue of factionalisation of the party or not.
“The court by that judgement affirmed the authenticity of Bolarinwa-led executives of APC in the state, and of course all the candidates that emerged from the primaries that were held by the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC in October 2018 remain valid.”
Counsel to Balogun-Fulani, Abdulazeez Ibrahim, expressed his dissatisfaction with the judgement.
Ibrahim added that “the judgement is a simple one because the issues were trashed at the interlocutory stage. That is supposed not to be the case. The decision in the interlocutory appeal has determined even the main appeal that was delivered today.
“So we are not satisfied with the judgement. And we have appealed against the interlocutory judgement delivered last week. So we are going to appeal against the judgement just delivered today again.”