UPDATED: Affected Kogi senator speaks on controversial Court of Appeal ruling

Senator-Atai-Aidoko
Senator Atai Aidoko (Photo Credit: The Nation Newspaper)

The senator representing Kogi East, Atai Aidoko, on Tuesday reiterated his stance that his seat has not been declared vacant by the Court of Appeal.

PREMIUM TIMES reported the Court of Appeal, Abuja, ruling on Monday with Mr. Aidoko and journalists who attended the sitting giving different versions of the judgement.

While journalists at the sitting said the Appeal Court in a ruling delivered by a judge, Abdul Aboki, declared the seat vacant while ordering the matter be taken back to the High Court for retrial, Mr. Aidoko said the court only ruled that the matter be taken back to the High Court.

Mr. Aidoko, while raising a point of order on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, stated that at no point did the issue of, ‘candidacy or vacant seat’ come up during the judgement.

“Yesterday, the media, both social and mainstream was awash with satanic fake news that my constituency seat has been declared vacant by the Court of Appeal,” he stated.

“It started from the social media, I decided to ignore it, knowing that there is nothing like that but Mr. President, it got worse when the main media like Channels and AIT put it on prime time and I began to get calls.

“I became worried and explained to them there was nothing like that. I need to bring it to the senate that we can get it and put it in the right perspective.”

Mr. Aidoko said the Appeal Court judgement did not declare the seat vacant but ordered parties to return to the High Court, ‘to seek requirement for reference which he filed before the Appeal court.’

He explained the legal process so far insinuating that his opponent may have been behind the circulation of the other version of what transpired in court.

“Mr President what really happened was of course, arising from the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter of my senatorial district that we should go back to the federal high court to start the trial by calling evidence. We were there in June before a judge of the Federal High Court.

“It was I who sought for reference, it wasn’t an appeal to ask the court to interpret or answer some constitutional questions because the court of appeal sitting here had given a judgment that the federal high court has no jurisdiction to entertain such matters.

”Now we are before the federal high court again that is going to decide on that same issue that has already been decided by the court of appeal. So, I now sought for reference from the court of appeal.

”Yesterday, the court of appeal said that for the requirements for reference, we have not met it, therefore we should go back to the federal high court to continue the trial which has been on since June. There was nothing in the decision yesterday, there was no question of who is the candidate.

”Immediately (after the judgement), my opponent paid and sponsored fake news and information that caused me high embarrassment.”


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