By Alex Enumah in Abuja
Efforts by the embattled senator representing Kogi East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Attai Idoko, to retain his seat on Thursday, suffered a setback as a Federal High Court in Abuja struck out his suit seeking to reopen the case decided against him up to the Supreme Court.
In a short ruling, Justice Anwuli Chikere held that based on the principles of stare decisis, (the hierarchy of courts) it would amount to judicial rascality to sit on a matter which had been decided by the Supreme Court.
She consequently struck out the suit and reaffirmed the decision of her brother judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole of same Federal High Court, Abuja, who had early last year after a retrial of the 2015 election dispute sacked Senator Aidoko from the Senate and ordered the clerk of the National Assembly to swear in the plaintiff, Air Marshal Isaac Alfa (rtd) who won the election.
Aidoko not satisfied with the judgment of the lower court had approached the Court of Appeal to reverse the judgment but the appellate court rather dismissed his appeal and ordered him to refund all the salaries and allowances he had collected in the last three and a half years.
Still not satisfied, Aidoko had run to the Supreme Court, where judgment again was entered against him. The apex court also upheld the Court of Appeal judgment which ordered a refund of all salaries and allowances received as a senator on the grounds that he was not the legal occupant of the seat.
The apex court in addition ordered the President of the Senate to immediately swear in the plaintiff, Air Vice Marshall Alfa (rtd).
While the Senate and its leadership was yet to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court, Aidoko filed a fresh application at the trial court challenging his sack from the National Assembly.
However, the suit was struck out on the grounds that it amounted to an abuse of court process.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had in 2018 sacked Aidoko of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ruled that Alfa was the rightful candidate of the PDP in the March 28, 2018 election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The judge, in his judgment, ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Aidoko in 2015 and also ordered the Clerk of the National Assembly to immediately withdraw the recognition and privileges being accorded Aidoko as a senator.