Whether the Court can Interfere with the Internal Affairs of Political Parties

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CASE TITLE: ISHAKU v. SULEIMAN & ORS (2023) LPELR-59910(CA)

JUDGMENT DATE: 23RD FEBRUARY, 2023

PRACTICE AREA: ELECTORAL MATTERS

LEAD JUDGMENT: ISAIAH OLUFEMI AKEJU, J.C.A.

SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT:

INTRODUCTION:

This appeal borders on electoral matters.

FACTS:

This appeal is against the judgment of the High Court of Adamawa State holden in Yola, delivered on 10th January, 2023 in Suit No. HC/ADSY/202/ 2022 which action the 1st and 2nd Respondents commenced by the Originating Summons filed at the State High Court in Yola. Issues were joined by the parties and the High Court of Adamawa State (the trial Court) gave judgment in favour of the 1st and 2nd Respondents and granted their reliefs.

The Appellant who was a defendant in the action was dissatisfied with the judgment of the trial Court hence this appeal.

ISSUES:

The Court determined the appeal on the following issues:

​1. Whether the 1st and 2nd Respondents’ Suit at the trial Court which borders on discipline and membership of a Political Party is justiciable for determination by any Court of law?

2. Whether the trial Court being a High Court of State possesses the requisite jurisdiction under Section 272 of the Constitution to entertain the 1st and 2nd Respondents’ Originating Summons at the trial Court which agitates pre-election and/or election-related dispute seeking disqualification of a Candidate?

3. Assuming without conceding that the trial Court possess the requisite Jurisdiction, whether the 1st and 2nd Respondents possess the requisite Locus Standi to institute the action at the Trial Court?

DECISION/HELD:

In the final analysis, the Court allowed the appeal.

RATIOS:

  • APPEAL – NOTICE(S) OF APPEAL: Whether a notice of appeal can be served by electronic mail
  • ELECTORAL MATTERS – JURISDICTION: Whether the court has jurisdiction to interfere with matters which concern the running of the internal affairs of political parties
  • ELECTORAL MATTERS – PRE-ELECTION MATTERS: Whether the High Court of a State has jurisdiction to hear and determine pre-election matters
  • PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – SERVICE OF COURT PROCESS(ES): Importance of service of Court process(es) 

lawpavilion • March 21, 2023


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