The Supreme Court has issued hearing notices to parties in the appeals challenging the 4 July judgment of the Court of Appeal which dismissed four appeals against the re-election of Governor Yahaya Bello and affirmed him the duly elected governor of Kogi State.
A hearing notice signed by the Director/HoD, Litigation of the Supreme Court, Ibrahim Gold on Friday, informed litigants that their appeals have been listed for hearing on Tuesday, 25 August 2020.
The appeals include SC 388/2020: Musa Atayi Wada and Anor V. INEC and 2 ors which was filed by Engr Musa Wada and his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Bello and the All Progressive Congress (APC).
There is also the appeal numbered: SC 434/2020: Natasha Hadiza Akpoti and Anor V. INEC and 3 ors, filed by Natasha and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) against Bello, INEC and the APC.
The Action Peoples Party (APP) withdrew its appeal after it realized that it filed out of time.
The 60 days earmarked for the Supreme Court to hear and decide the appeals ends on 5 September 2020.
According to a source in the apex court, the court would hear and pronounce on the appeals on Tuesday, just as it has done in the past
The hearing notice issued by Ibrahim reads, ‘’Take Notice that the above Appeal will be listed for hearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Tuesday the 25 days of August 2020.
“And Further Take Notice that in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules, this Notice is deemed sufficiently served on you if it is delivered on your Information and Communication gadgets.
“Further, Take Notice That Coronavirus (COVID-19) Protocols shall be fully and strictly enforced. It’s only the Counsel who are appearing and whose name is entered in the Counsel List (Not More Than five Counsel per Appearance) will be admitted into the Court and No More.”
It would be recalled that on 23 May 2020, the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which sat in Abuja in a split judgment of two to one affirmed the declaration and return of Bello by INEC as the validly elected governor of Kogi State.
The Tribunal unanimously resolved other petitions filed against Bello’s election in favour of the governor.
Dissatisfied, the four parties and their candidates in the Kogi state governorship election of 16 November 2019, appealed against the tribunal judgment before the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, which on 4 July 2020, dismissed all the four appeals brought by the PDP, APP, the SDP and the DPP.