Panic in Govt House as INEC Move to Sack Ibro and Four Others at Supreme Court

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There is palpable fear in the Lugard House over pedestrian moves in Abuja to sack Governor Ibrahim Idris and four others.

Though, it is widely believed that the present judicial battle is aimed at clipping the wings of Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State, Ibro will also be affected if the ruling favours INEC.

If the Supreme court rules against Ibro and his friends, the Speaker of the House will step in as acting governor. This, some analyst believe will affect the camp of Ibro’s anointed successor, Captain Idris Wada negatively.

A five-man panel of justices of the Supreme Court will today commence hearing on an appeal that was lodged by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, seeking an immediate removal of five sitting governors from office.

The electoral body went to the apex court with a view to getting a superior order, nullifying decisions of a Federal High Court and the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which had in their separate judgments, barred INEC from conducting elections in the five states till next year.

It is praying the court to hold that the tenure of Governors Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State, Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), ought to have expired on May 29 this year.

It would be recalled that the lower courts had in their separate judgments, relied on the provisions of section 180(2) of the 1999 constitution, to insist that it would be unconstitutional for INEC to compel the aforementioned governors to vacate their respective offices before the expiration of their statutory four-year tenure stipulated in the law.

Consequent on that judgment, only 26 states of the federation participated in the governorship election that held on April 26, as five other states, consisting of Anambra, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Edo, were ab-initio excluded from the polls, considering that the tenure of their sitting governors were yet to expire.

Though the initial judgment on the controversial matter was delivered by trial Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court on February 23, however, a 5-man panel of justices of the appellate court on July 31, affirmed the decision, even as they dismissed an appeal that was filed against it by INEC.

Governor Idris of Kogi state was the first to instruct his counsel, Chief Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, to sue INEC shortly after his state was listed among states where election was slated to hold this year.

Following his lead, the other four governors joined the fray, arguing that they still have one more year before the expiration of their tenure.

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