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University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

The Students Union’s Court of Justice sitting in the university of Ilorin has, yesterday 13th of December, in a matter with the suit number SUJ/002/18-19 invalidated the appointments of the chairmen and secretaries of the committees of the Senate Council.

The court case seeking validation or otherwise of the appointments was instituted before the Honorable court by a Senator representating faculty of Law, Senator Saliu Afeez Ishola, popular as Senator Authority against the principal officers of the Senate Council as being headed by Senator Jesunifemi Akano.

The Union’s Court granted the prayers of the claimant by setting aside the validation, and declaring the nominations and the appointments of the affected chairmen and secretaries null and void. Saying such action contravened the provision of the article 16(B)(4) of the students’ Union constitution.

In their lead judgment delivery, the 3-man jury headed by the chairman of judicial council, Honorable Justice Haroon Idris Ibrahim, unanimously agreed that the defendants: The president of the Senate amongst others principal officers, have acted ultra-vires and which has violated the constitution they sworn to be protecting.

The judgement reads in part: “After due consideration of the law, fact and contention of the parties this court declares that the appointment of the Chairmen and Secretaries of the committees of the Senate Council by the Senate president is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

“This issue is hinged upon the ones addressed a prior before it, since the constitution has laid down a procedure for appointment that procedure must be adhered to by everyone even if the earth will shake, anything otherwise will be casted in the unseen abode of nullity where nothing can be retrieved.

Hence the appointment is null and void as well as all that comes from it, Ex Nihil Nihilo Fit, from nothing, nothing comes. UAC v. Macfoy.”

The two other judges, Honorable Justice Olawoyin T. Mustapha and Honorable Justice Olarewaju Zainab also aligned with the lead Judge’s opinion.

According to Justice Olawoyin, the senate President lacks the power to appoint the chairman and secretary of the standing committees of the house, as doing so will against the stance of the article 16 (B) 4 of the union’s constitution.

“…I hold, agreeing with the claimant’s counsel that the Senate President lacks the power to appoint the chairmen and secretaries of the said committees. As such he indeed acted ultra-vires.” Justice Olawoyin pronounced.

In the same vein, the prayer three (3) by the claimant, Senator Authority, as contained in the originating summons seeking to know if the defendant, alongside others had breached the contentious article 16 (B) (4). The 3-man jury unanimously upheld the claimant prayer.

According to the lead judgement delivered by the chairman of the judiciary council, Honorable Justice Haroon Idris Ibrahim, he said the defendant had indeed perpetrated illegality and as such breached the substance of the constitution.

“This issue is resolved in the favor of the claimant to the effect that indeed the first defendant in this case has perpetrated an illegality and the other parties who are offshoot or products of illegality either by virtue of their interest in the illegality or any other reason have indeed breached the substance of the constitution and fallen short in upholding their oaths.

“The Constitution is the alter Ego, the Grund Norm and the Fons et Origo that all authorities no matter how powerful must bend to and obey. The constitution is made by the people but it stands high above them as they must all toe its path, except that they find themselves in the deep and dark abyss of unconstitutionality. This issue is resolved in the favor of the claimant.” Justice Haroon states.

The claimant had, on the 30th of November, 2018, dragged the defendant(s) to the court to challenge the appropriateness of the Senate Council president believed to be in connivance with other principal officers to appoint the chairmen and secretaries of the senate council standing committees without taking a recourse to the provision of the constitution.

Abdullah Ridhwan Adetutu

Post Author: Abdul'Hakeem Ogundipe

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