Party supporters in a free-for-all fight before the Supreme Court suspended proceeding for the seven governorship election cases till today in Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA<br />
The Supreme Court yesterday suspended some appeals before it, postponing the fate of seven state governors till today and causing apprehension among parties, who were either represented or physically present in the court. The appeals, which emanated from the March 2019 governorship election across the federation, had been slated for hearing and determination by the apex court. Typical of days when high-profile cases are heard, the courtroom was filled to capacity with parties to the appeals, party loyalists, families and friends of the appellants and respondents.
The unexpected, however, happened less than an hour into the commencement of the sitting when Chief Justice of the Federation, Ibrahim Mohammed Tanko, announced that one of the justices on the panel had suddenly become ill.He, therefore, stood down the matter, so that the sick colleague could be attended to. As the justices rose to take the bow, all eyes watched to identify the sick judicial officer. The crowed waited, hopeful that proceedings would somehow resume, until one of the court registrars returned with the final announcement adjourning the matter till today.
Other members of the panel besides Tanko are Justices John Inyang Okoro, Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, Uwani Musa Aba Aji, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Aminu Sani and Olukayode Ariwoola.
The affected governors are: Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha; Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Umar Ganduje (Kano); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Bala Mohammed (Bauchi); Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Samuel Ortom (Benue).Meanwhile, a High Court in Jabi, Federal Capital Territory, yesterday fixed February 25 to hear a suit challenging the qualification of House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to contest an election. The suit is also challenging his nomination as the Speaker of the Ninth Assembly.