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Ardo Writes Jega, Says It Is An Error Of Law To Conduct Governorship Election In Adamawa On 28th February.

By   /  January 24, 2015  /  No Comments

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  • Says he will institute a court action if INEC holds Governorship Election in Adamawa on 28th February.



A former gubernatorial aspirant in Adamawa, Dr. Umar Ardo, has written to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, asking him not to conduct governorship election for Adamawa State on 28thFebruary 2015. According to Ardo; “It is an error of Law to conduct governorship election in Adamawa State on 28th February.

In a letter dated 22nd January, 2015 addressed to the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, Ardo said; “A careful perusal of that Supreme Court judgment would reveal the inevitable conclusion that the conduct of governorship election in Adamawa State on 28th February, 2015 alongside other states as scheduled is an error of law. By virtue of that Supreme Court’s decision, as contained in the supporting judgment of Justice MS Muntaka-Coomassie, the period that Governor Murtala Nyako and his deputy, Bala James Ngilari were out of office and during which the then Adamawa State Speaker of House of Assembly, Hon. James Barka, held office as Acting Governor cannot be counted in computing their 4-year term of office. For ease of reference, I quote the relevant part of that highly celebrated judgment.”

Furthermore, he said, in view of the above, it is obvious that the scheduled holding of governorship election in Adamawa State on 28th February is a clear breach of the law as interpreted by the apex court, adding further he said; “I therefore call upon INEC to halt forthwith the planned governorship election in Adamawa State and declare, in accordance with the Supreme Court judgment, that the term of the current administration in the state will expire on 1st August, 2015. If, however, INEC fails to do so and insists on going ahead with the governorship election, then one will have no other option than to institute an action in court to seek the determination of the matter.”


The letter in full below:

22nd January, 2015

The Chairman,
Independent National Electoral Commission,
(INEC) Headquarters, Zambezi Crescent,
Maitama, Abuja.

Attention: Professor Attahiru Jega

Sir,

IT IS AN ERROR OF LAW TO CONDUCT GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN ADAMAWA STATE ON 28thFEBRUARY 2015

I respectfully write to draw your attention to the error of law in conducting governorship election in Adamawa State alongside other states of the federation as scheduled on 28thFebruary, 2015.

You may wish to recall that the Nyako/Ngilari gubernatorial ticket in Adamawa State is among the five states of the federation whose governorship election was nullified by the Election Tribunal in February 2008, but contested a re-run election and won. You may also recall that their tenure of office and re-election for second term became a matter of serious and long judicial proceedings that was ultimately determined by the Supreme Court of the country on 12th January, 2012, and for which Section 180 of the Nigerian Constitution was amended.

A careful perusal of that Supreme Court judgment would reveal the inevitable conclusion that the conduct of governorship election in Adamawa State on 28th February, 2015 alongside other states as scheduled is an error of law. By virtue of that Supreme Court’s decision, as contained in the supporting judgment of Justice MS Muntaka-Coomassie, the period that Governor Murtala Nyako and his deputy, Bala James Ngilari were out of office and during which the then Adamawa State Speaker of House of Assembly, Hon. James Barka, held office as Acting Governor cannot be counted in computing their 4-year term of office. For ease of reference, I quote the relevant part of that highly celebrated judgment:

“Finally, in view of the above, I hold that in calculating the four-year term of the 1stRespondent and other beneficiaries of the re-run elections as ordered, and who had earlier been sworn-in before taking the second oath, the first oath taking of 29/5/2007 shall be reckoned with. The second oath taking is mere surplusages. This shall however exclude the months they vacated office before taking the second oaths of allegiance and oath of office5.”  (Emphasis mine)

The governorship election of Adamawa State was nullified on 26/2/2008, the same day the governor and his deputy vacated office, and were re-sworn back into office on 30/4/2008 after winning the re-run election. By this judgment, therefore, it explicitly means that the two months three days that they were out of office cannot be computed in calculating their 4-year term of office. This further means that the actual date of expiration of the Nyako/Ngilari second term of four years is 1stAugust, 2015 and not 29th May 2015. So holding onto the latter date implies including, and not excluding, the months they were out of office.

In view of the above, it is obvious that the scheduled holding of governorship election in Adamawa State on 28th February is a clear breach of the law as interpreted by the apex court. I therefore call upon INEC to halt forthwith the planned governorship election in Adamawa State and declare, in accordance with the Supreme Court judgment, that the term of the current administration in the state will expire on 1st August, 2015. If, however, INEC fails to do so and insists on going ahead with the governorship election, then one will have no other option than to institute an action in court to seek the determination of the matter.

While counting on your understanding and cooperation, I wish you very successful general elections across the country.

Yours Sincerely,

Signed:

Dr. Umar Ardo

Cc:
Governor Adamawa State
All Adamawa State Governorship Candidates


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  • Published: 4 years ago on January 24, 2015
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  • Last Modified: May 7, 2015 @ 4:12 pm
  • Filed Under: Headlines, Reports

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