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Jibrilu v. Jibril

ABDULKADIR JIBRILU

V

MUHAMMAD KABIR JIBRIL

INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC)

THE RESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER, KADUNA STATE (CHIEF AYO M. DADA)

COURT OF APPEAL

( KADUNA DIVISION )

MARY U. PETER-ODILI JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

THERESA NGOLIKA ORJI-ABADUA JCA

JOSEPH TINE TUR JCA

CA/K/EP/NA/21/2008

THURSDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2010

COURT - When competent - Lack of jurisdiction - Effect of on court’s proceedings

ELECTION PETITION - Electoral disputes - Determination of Jurisdiction for - Statutory nature of

ELECTION PETITION - Electoral malpractices - Whether any inconsequential malpractices will invalidate election result

ELECTION PETITION - Filing of - Statutorily prescribed time within which to so do - Time for the purposes of - When begins to run Electoral Act, 2006, section 141 considered

ELECTION PETITION - Nature of - Ordinary civil procedure rules Inapplicability of thereto

INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES - Interpretation Act - Whether applies to construction of all enactments

INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES - Statute - Words of - Where clear and unambiguous - Interpretation of - Proper approach of court thereto

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Order made without jurisdiction - Nonbindingness of

JURISDICTION - Issue of - Fundamental nature of - Where raised by court suo motu - Propriety of - Leave of court to raise Needlessness of party to obtain

JURISDICTION - Order made without jurisdiction - Non-bindingness of

LIMITATION OF ACTION - Date on which event occurs - Computation of when time starts to run - When included in

LIMITATION OF ACTION - Filing of election petition - Filing of Statutorily prescribed time within which to so do - Time for the purposes of - When begins to run - Electoral Act, 2006, section 141  considered

LIMITATION OF ACTION - Interest expected to run from a particular date - When begins to run

LIMITATION OF ACTION - Limitation statute - Purport of  Noncompliance with - Effect of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Claim - Relevant statutory provisions to - Onus on claimant to comply with

STATUTE - Electoral Act, 2006, section 141 - Election petition Statutorily prescribed time for - Time for the purposes of - When begins to run

STATUTE - Interpretation Act - Whether applies to construction of all enactments

Issue:

Whether the appeal based on incompetent election petition was competent.

Facts:

The petitioner was fielded by A.N.P.P. as its electoral candidate for Kaduna State Central Senatorial District Election while the 1st respondent contested the election under the platform of P.D.P. The latter was declared and returned as the winner of the election and the petitioner, being dissatisfied, filed a petition at the Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Tribunal, sitting in Kaduna State challenging the election on grounds that the 1st respondent was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast. In the alternative, that the election was invalid by reason of corrupt and unjustifiable practices and non-compliance with electoral provisions. The 1st respondent filed preliminary objection to the competence of the petition. The tribunal dismissed the objection and the petition. The petitioner was aggrieved and appealed to the Court of Appeal. The 1st respondent filed a preliminary objection challenging competence of the appeal.

In determination of the appeal, the Court of Appeal considered the following statute:

Electoral Acts, 2006, section 141:

“An election petition under this Act shall be presented within thirty (30) days from the date the result of the election is declared”.