Ruling a miscarriage of justice — Counsel
By Rotimi Ojomoyela – Ado-Ekiti
Bid by Ilana Omo Oodua to stop the June 18 gubernatorial election in Ekiti State and invalidate the 1999 constitution suffered a sat back on Tuesday, as the Federal High Court Sitting in Ado-Ekiti struck out the case for lack of jurisdiction and locus standi.
The suit was instituted by the Apex Body of Yoruba Self-Determination Movement, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide challenging the making and validity of 1999 Constitution of Nigeria
A statement by the Communications Secretary of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye said, the trial Judge, Banji Ikuewumi ruled on the case despite the fact that the Respondents in the case, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are yet to file a defense statement nor appear in court since the inception of the case.
Justice Ikuewumi declared that INEC and AGF are not based nor situated in Ekiti State even though they carry on business in Ado Ekiti, therefore, the case ought to be instituted at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
The statement which was made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti yesterday stated that the Judge also ruled that the six Plantifs who instituted the suit on behalf of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide did not show sufficient prove that the 1999 constitution of Nigeria and that the conduct of Ekiti Governorship Election affects them in anyway more than it affects others 2 million eligible voters in Ekiti.
the Judge ruled that the six Plantifs are not enough to represent over 2 Million Ekiti voters to institute a suit to challenge the making and the validity of 1999 constitution of Nigeria, nor demand for Ekiti State Governorship Election to be stopped.
Reacting, the Lead Counsel to Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, Tolu Babaleye described the verdict as a miscarriage of justice.
Babaleye said the Judge has turned himself to a Father Christmas who now strikes out a suit based on Locus Standi when the Respondents have not even appeared in court since the inception of the case in April.
The Abuja Based Constitutional Lawyer said “the case came up this morning for ruling on issue of forum and locus standi raised suo motu by the Hon. Presiding Judge.
“The court came to conclusion that the 6 Defendants cannot represent the over 2 Million voters in Ekiti, that the Claimants have not shown how they are affected more than other Ekiti people if the election is allowed to go on and if the Constitution is invalidated as they prayed for.
“The court also held that INEC and Attorney General of the Federation are not resident in Ekiti, and as such, the Court in Ado Ekiti is not the appropriate forum for the suit to be instituted.
“Based on these reasons, the court struck out the Ilana case pending at Federal High Court Ado Ekiti this morning. I am taking immediate step to get the ruling, study it and determine the next line of action after due consultations with my Clients.
“But to be specific, we shall appeal against this ruling which, in my opinion, is a miscarriage of justice. The Judge should not have turned himself to a Father Christmas, he should have transferred this matter to Abuja insted of striking it out. The struggle continues.”
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