The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has said that its December 14, 2016 judgment which made Aidoko Attai the senator representing Kogi East Senatorial District in the National Assembly is no longer valid.
This is contained in the latest ruling of the Court of Appeal delivered on Monday.
Our correspondent on Wednesday obtained a copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment earlier delivered on Monday.
Justice Abdul Aboki, who led a three-man bench of Court of Appeal and also read the lead ruling of the panel on Monday, held that the December 14, 2016 judgment of the court which declared Attai as the rightful person to represent Kogi East in the Senate had been nullified by the Supreme Court.
This is contrary to the claim by Attai that he had not been sacked by the latest Court of Appeal’s judgment delivered on Monday.
Our correspondent on Wednesday obtained a copy of the Monday’s ruling of the Court of Appeal, following the controversy created by Attai’s claim at a press conference that he remained the Kogi East senator.
The judgment of the Supreme Court which the Court of Appeal referred to on Monday was earlier delivered on June 16, 2017.
The apex court had in the said judgment ordered that the case be sent back to the Federal High Court for re-hearing via writ of summons.
While the case was being re-heard by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Attai urged the court to refer a question of interpretation of the Supreme Court’s June 16, 2017 judgment to the Court of Appeal.
He contended that the said judgment of the Court of Appeal declaring him the rightful person to represent Kogi East was still subsisting because Alfa’s appeal against the said decision of the appeal court was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
But ruling on Monday, Justice Aboki said the December 14, 2016 judgment which Attai was clinging to was no longer valid.
He also held that the issue he caused the Federal High Court to refer to the Court of Appeal for interpretation did not qualify for referral under the Nigerian constitution.
Justice Aboki ruled, “In the instant case, the reference questions having been found not to have arisen from the proceedings of the Federal High Court, the further question as to whether it involves substantial questions of law does not arise.
“The earlier judgment of this court (Court of Appeal) which went on appeal to the Supreme Court was no longer valid, in view of the facts that all courts below are bound to follow the decision and order(s) of the Supreme Court.
“In the instant case, the failure of the applicant to establish all the three vital necessary pre-conditions for a proper determination of reference questions is fatal to the application.
“This application (for reference by Attai) lacks merit, it fails and it is accordingly dismissed.”
Justice Aboki awarded the sum of N1m as cost against Attai and in favour of his rival in the Peoples Democratic Party, Air Marshall Isaac Alfa (retd.), who is the 1st respondent to the appeal.
Two other Justices on the panel, Justices Peter Ige and Emmanuel Agim, agreed with the lead ruling.