Adewole O. Adewunmi & Anor V. Ayodeji Adebayo Joseph & 2 OrsNovember 22, 2015
Oyeniyi S. Raheem & Anor V Adaranijo Taofeek Abiodun & OrsNovember 22, 2015
Legalpedia Electronic Citation LERCA/L/EP/HR/999/2015
The 1st Appellant and 1st Respondent were candidates at the 28th March, 2015 House of Representatives election wherein the latter was declared returned as the validly elected member representing Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency. Dissatisfied with the return, the 1st Appellant filed a petition challenging the return of the 1st Respondent on the ground that the 1st Respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest same by virtue of section 138(1)(a) of the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended) and consequently claimed some reliefs that the 1st Respondent was not on the ballot and did not participate in the election as the notice of the party’s primaries which produced the 1st Respondent as candidate of the 2nd Respondent given by the 2nd Respondent to the 3rd Respondent fell short of the period of at least 21 days required by section 85(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended), an order nullifying the declaration and return of the 1st Respondent on grounds that he was not qualified to have contested the said election having violated section 85(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended) among others. The trial Tribunal dismissed the petition hence this appeal at the instance of the Appellant.Held
Issues for Determnation
- Whether the trial tribunal was right in its conclusion that the purpose of the notice required under section 85 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended) is to enable INEC attend and monitor the primaries of the Political Parties in order to perform its functions under section 86 (1) of the Act.
- Whether in view of the 2nd Respondent’s letters to the 3rd Respondent dated 19/9/2014 (Exhibit R1) and 18/11/2014 (Exhibit P4), the trial tribunal was right to have held that the 2nd Respondent complied with the provision of section 85(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended ) in the conduct of its primary elections which led to the emergence of the 1st Respondent as its candidate for the Ifako – Ijaye Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives election held on the 28th March, 2015.
ELECTION PETITIONS –DETERMINATION OF ELECTION PETITIONS
“Election petitions are indeed peculiar and enjoy a special status thus the tag sui generis. Time generally is of essence in the determination of election petitions and therefore timelines have been set to ensure that election petitions are determined expeditiously.” PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A
“It is settled that failure to abide by timelines set in the rules for the determination of election petitions is fatal to the party required to have taken such a step, see Mrs Olabisi Ayodele Salis & Anor V Bareehu Olugbengaa Ashafa & Ors (2005) LPELR 25670 (CA).” PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A
“The times stipulated in the practice directions are sacrosanct and must be strictly obeyed as failure to comply will render such brief filed out of time incompetent and liable to be struck out PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A
“I agree with the appellants on the principles of interpretation as enunciated in the authorities cited in the appellants brief. The position has acquired a notoriety as several decisions have settled how a statute should be interpreted, one of the recent decisions being the case of PDP V INEC (2014) 17 NWLR (Pt.1437) 525 where the Supreme Court again said:
“The cardinal principles in the interpretation of statutes is that the meaning of a statute or legislation must be derived from the plain and unambiguous expressions or words used therein rather than from any notion that may be entertained as to what is just and expedient. The literal rule of interpretation is always preferable unless it would lead to absurdity and inconsistency with the provisions of the statute as a whole.”PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A
INTERPRETATION OF STATUTE – INTERPRETATION OF “SHALL” AND “MAY” WHEN USED IN LEGISLATIONS
“It has become clear that the word shall when used in a legislation unless the context within which it is used suggest otherwise, is taken to mean a command or imperativeness and compulsion. See the case of Ameachi V INEC (2008) 5NWLR (Pt. 1080) 227 where the apex court held thus:
“If a section of a statue contains the mandatory, “SHALL” and it is so construed by the court, then the consequence of not complying with the provision follows”.
The Supreme Court in the same judgment also stated clearly as follows:
“Under section 85 of the Electoral Act 2006, it is mandatory that a political party should inform INEC of the date and time of holding a convention or congress summoned for the purpose of nominating candidates for any of the elective offices under the Electoral Act 2006.” PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A
“It is the duty of court or tribunal to interpret a statutory provision as a whole in order to give full meaning to the intent of the legislature and the words used. Courts are enjoined to avoid interpretation that would lead to absurdity thereby doing violence to a statutory provision.” PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A
The word “revise” means to amend or review something already written or printed, in order to make corrections, improve, or update while the word “reschedule” means to plan for another or later time”. PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A
On the other hand, the Black’s Law Dictionary (9th Ed.) defines “Notice” as –
“Legal notification required by law or agreement, or imparted by operation of law as a result of some fact.” PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A
“It has been settled that in the consideration of a relationship where series of correspondences have been written, it is the duty of the court to consider all the correspondences in order to decipher what the letters are saying with regards to the relationship, see the case of Udeagu V Benue Cement Co. Plc (2006) 2 NWLR (Pt. 965) 600. In the same vein where more than one document govern a relationship, no single document should be considered in isolation or be the sole determinant.” PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.ASTATUTORY REQUIREMENT – EFFECT OF FAILURE TO SATISFY A STATUTORY REQUIREMENT
“Failure to satisfy a statutory requirement has serious consequences on the party in default.” PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A