- Femi Falana said the PDP's application to have six Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves from Imo election review may stall the case
- According to Falana, the apex court will not be able to form a quorum of seven to hear the case if six out of 11 justices recuse themselves
- The PDP had asked the CJN and five other justices to recuse themselves over fear of bias or denial of fair hearing
Nigeria's foremost senior lawyer and human rights activist has told the Peoples Democratic Party the implication of its call for the withdrawal of some judges for the review of its judgment on Imo governorship election.
The PDP had asked six justices, including the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Muhammad, to recuse themselves from the review.
According to the opposition party, there may be bias if the said justices are on the panel.
The party, therefore, demanded that a fresh panel be constituted to hear the review of the verdict.
Femi Falana during a recent hearing of Omoyele Sowore's trial in Abuja
However, Falana has explained that the Supreme Court cannot sit to hear the application by Emeka Ihedioha if six justices recuse themselves from the case, The Cable reports.
According to him, the apex court currently has 11 justices. If six recuse from the case, the court will not be able to form a quorum, seven justices, to hear the matter.
Falana said that by the time the court is reconstituted to have more justices, the time for the review of the verdict would have expired.
He recalled a similar instance in 1995 when late MKO Abiola asked nine justices out of the 16 members of the court to withdraw from his suit.
Falana explained that Abiola's suit could not be heard after the nine justices recused themselves because the court could not form a quorum.
He added that Abiola's case was never heard as the military administration then refused to reconstitute the court.
Meanwhile, amid tight security, the Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing on the application filed by the PDP and Ihedioha. The hearing would now be held on March 2.
At the mention of the case on Tuesday, February 18, Ihedioha’s lead lawyer, Kanu Agabi sought for time to enable parties to file the necessary papers, a request other lawyers in the case did not object to.
Similarly, the apex court has rescheduled hearing on the motion by the ex-governor of Zamfara state, Abdul’aziz Yari for a review of May 24, 2019, judgment which voided the participation of candidates of the APC in the last elections in the state.
The lawyer to the Yari's faction, Robert Clarke (SAN), lawyer to the Senator Kabiru Marafa's faction of the APC in Zamfara, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and the lawyer to INEC, Tanimu Inuwa (SAN) agreed that an adjournment was necessary.
In another news, the Zamfara state commissioner for science and technology, Bilyaminu Shinkafi, has explained why he dropped his appointment for another one with the APC-led federal government in Abuja.
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