Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
It was jubilation galore parts of Lokoja the Kogi State capital as a Federal High Court presided by Hon. Justice DU Okorowo Monday struck out a pre-election suit of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) aimed to upturn the election of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as governor of Kogi State.
The case, which was in series of pre-election cases instituted against the election of Governor Bello, was struck out due to lack of diligent prosecution by the claimants.
The suit was filed by Mr Sule Solomon Itanyi and two others against INEC and one other.
In the case which was filed on November 4, 2019, the claimants alleged that INEC failed in its duty when it refused the party (Action Democratic Party) to substitute Mr Ndakwo Abdulrahman Tanko, its original governorship candidate for Mr Sule Solomon Itanyi prior to the conduct of the election.
The 1st respondent (INEC) and the 2nd respondent (APC) in reaction to the suit challenged the jurisdiction of the Court on the ground that the suit was filed outside the mandatory statutory period of 14 days from the date of the occurrence of the cause of action and that the 180 days provided for the trial court to hear and determine the suit had also lapsed due to negligence of the claimants.
Justice Okorowo in his judgement upheld the objections of the respondents on the two main grounds, saying that the suit is ‘statute-barred’.
The suit was therefore struck out for lack of diligent prosecution by the claimants.