The candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, in the 2023 General Elections in Nigeria, Comrade Chika Idoko has petitioned the Chief Justice of the Federation and the National Assembly, accusing one Abubakar Babasoro Esq, the Deputy Court Registrar 2 (DR2) of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, of stalling his appeal in a case involving him and the Enugu State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Comrade Idoko had, shortly after the primaries of the PDP in 2022, gone to court seeking the disqualification of all PDP candidates in the state for failing to submit their membership register not later than 30 days before conducting its primaries as prescribed by the Electoral Act.
The Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, where the matter was first heard, ruled that, although the petitioner was able to establish that the party did not comply with the relevant provisions of the Act in the conduct of its primaries, he had no locus on the matter, being as he was, neither a member of the PDP nor a candidate in the party’s primaries.
Not satisfied, Comrade Idoko went to the Court of Appeal, where he lost again, and in addition, was fined the sum of N37 million as general damages to the respondents.
Idoko has since taken the matter to the apex court, where, according to him, the case has allegedly been stalled by the action of Messrs Babasoro.
“My Lord, I seek your intervention to save me considering the fine of 37 million Naira imposed on me by the Court of Appeal, even after they agreed with the ruling of the Federal High Court that the PDP Enugu State truly violated the Electoral Act as a result of their failure to Submit their Party Register within the lawfully specified time frame of 30 days to their Party Primary Elections,” he lamented.
In his letter to the CJN, a copy of which was sighted by our correspondent, the petitioner, who claimed he had written three previous reminders to the Supreme Court, lamented that the DCR2 Litigation and other staff of the Court have “served as clogs in the wheel of the progress of my matter which occasioned a great injustice to me.”
Claiming that he had complied with all the Rules in force at the Supreme Court, he wondered why the officials at the apex Court refused to fix his matter for hearing in a case that was a pre-election matter.
“My Lord, I seek your intervention to save me considering the fine of 37 million Naira imposed on me by the Court of Appeal, even after they agreed with the ruling of the Federal High Court that the PDP Enugu State truly violated the Electoral Act as a result of their failure to Submit their Party Register within the lawfully specified time frame of 30 days to their Party Primary Elections,” the letter read in part.
In his petition to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Comrade Idoko said he first wrote the Supreme Court on June 5, 2023, but was surprised he has not received any response even after two other reminders which he said, were dated, July 25, 2023 and August 3, 2023.
The petition, which was laid during plenary by the member representing Nsukka/Igbo Eze South Federal Constituency, Hon. Chidi Mark Obetta read in part:
“Honourable Speaker Sir, Equity delayed is Equity denied. I have complained severally about how the DCR2 Litigation of the Supreme Court ( Mr. YUSUF ABUBAKAR BABASORO Esq ) and other staff of the Court serve as clogs in the wheel of the progress of my matter which occasioned a great injustice to me.
“Hon. Speaker Sir, I have complied with all the requirements of the Rules in force at the Supreme Court, and my matter was never fixed for hearing before the court.
“Hon. Speaker Sir, I wrote to the Office of the CJN on the 1st of August, 2023 which was after the DCR2 Litigation had informed me that the two previous letters (Dated 20th June, 2023 and 5th July, 2023), which was minuted to his office were all missing, and that I should wait indefinitely for those missing letters to be located.
“Hon. Speaker Sir, assuming without conceding that those two letters were truly missing from his desk, what then happened to the last letter dated 1st August 2023, which was received in DCR2’s office on 4th of August, 2023, which he has also continued to ignore acting on, contrary to My Lord’s instructions. That letter has spent over two months on his desk without action.
“As a Nigerian, I consider it to be a miscarriage of justice, if I should suffer for the failure of the Court officials to perform their lawful duties. It is trite that the sin of a counsel shouldn’t be visited on a litigant and the same position is applicable to that of the court officials.
“Hon. Speaker Sir, I seek your intervention to save me considering the fine of 37 million Naira imposed on me by the Court of Appeal, even after they agreed with the ruling of the Federal High Court. The PDP Enugu State violated the Electoral Act due to their failure to Submit their Party Register within the lawfully specified time frame of 30 days to their Party Primary Elections.
“I was not satisfied with the judgments of both the Federal High Court and the Appeal Court and that’s why I insisted that the Supreme Court of Nigeria will have the final say on this matter for the enrichment of Jurisprudence in our dear Nation.
“As a Common Nigerian, I seek that my matter be fixed for hearing in the interest of justice and fairness. As the Speaker of the People’s Parliament, the House of Representatives, I humbly urge you to kindly use your good office to intercede on my behalf and ensure that I am allowed to be heard by the Supreme Court.”