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Borno guber: Supreme Court throws out Goni’s motion

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By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

The Supreme Court yesterday threw out a motion to set aside its own judgment which was brought before it by the Borno state governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Mohammed Goni.
Goni is challenging the validity of the election of Governor Kashim Shettima of Bornu state during the April 2011 governorship election.
The presiding Justice Francis Fededo Tabai, who led Justices Muntaka Coomasie, Mary Peter Odili, Chukwuma Enne and Olukayode Ariwoola on the panel, held that the motion was an abuse of court process.
Mohammed Goni’s lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, urged the apex court to set aside its own judgment delivered on February 17, 2012.
Falana said that since the case was a constitutional matter, the Supreme Court panel of seven justices ought to have been empanelled instead of the five justices that heard the appeal.
He argued further that some of the justices that sat in the earlier judgment were not supposed to be there.
The apex court had on February 17, 2012 delivered judgment in favour of Governor Kashim Shettima in the consolidated appeals instituted by the governor and his party, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal which upturned their victory before the state’s Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that dismissed the petition filed by the PDP and its candidate, Alhaji Mohammed Goni during the last April, 2011 governorship election.
The Court of Appeal had, last December, ordered for a fresh hearing of the PDP’s petition by another panel on the grounds that the decision of the Borno State Election Petition Tribunal was wrong in holding that the PDP and its candidate in the election fell short in complying with the provision of Paragraph 18 (1)(2) of the First Schedule of the Constitution which provides for a period of sevens days after pleadings for a petitioner to formerly apply for the commencement of hearing of his or her petition.

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