Sani Danladi (Contact): Can FHC Jalingo set aside it’s earlier Judgment disqualifying a candidate?
(BAZENEWS)Many have queried the decision of the Federal High Court Jalingo to set aside it’s earlier Judgment of 6th day of March, 2019 disqualifying Abubakar Sani Danladi in suit No. FHC/JAL/CS/1/2019. The question is, can the Federal High Court set aside it’s Judgment despite the fact that the case has travelled to Court of Appeal and Supreme without success in overturning the judgement?
To get the answer correctly, you will need to understand a few points of law and keep sentiments aside. The first thing to note is that the law allow you to challenge an invalid Judgment in either of the following ways:
1. By Appeal to Appellate Court or
2. By Application to same court, in this case Federal High Court to set it aside. Both options are available depends on what happened in the particular case.
Let’s go through what happened in this case. The option of Appeal was earlier taken to Court of Appeal, Yola. The Court of Appeal on its part can hear the case on merit or strike it out. When a case is heard on merit, it cannot go back to the Federal High Court again. In this case the Court of Appeal simply struck out the case on the 3th day of May 2019 in appeal no. CA/YL/41/2019. Since the Court of Appeal Yola did not hear the case on merit, it means the option of going back to Federal High Court was left open by the Court of Appeal. Let’s see whether the Supreme Court has closed that option.
At the Supreme Court, the case could be heard on merit or it could be struck out. If it is heard on merit, the option of going back to Federal High Court will not be available again. However, in this case on the 5th July 2019 the Supreme Court struck out the appeal. Thus, both Court of Appeal and Supreme Court did not hear the case on merit thereby leaving open the option of going back to Federal High Court.
This means that only the judgment of the Federal High Court is remaining which if properly set aside can clear Abubakar Sani Danladi to contest subsequent Elections. In which case, a Court is empowered ex debito justicia to set aside it’s earlier Judgment on the following grounds: lack of jurisdiction, fraud or non Service.
Having now understood that there is option of going back to the Federal High Court to set aside the earlier Judgment, you can answer the above question for yourself. However, that may not be the end of the matter.
If the Federal High Court did not follow the law in setting aside the earlier Judgment, aggrieved persons may appeal or accept it for all time. Where parties accept the new decision of the Federal High Court, what it means is that the law presumes that this case never happened before and it will not bar a fresh suit by those who believe he has a case.
As it stands now, the law sees and will treat him as qualified to contest subsequent elections.