The Supreme Court on Friday sacked five state governors whose tenure elapsed in May 29 last year.
The governors are Ibrahim Idris (Kogi), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Liyel Imoke (Cross River). They are all members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The decision was taken by a seven-member panel chaired by Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher.
Other members of the panel are Justices Mahmud Mukhtar, Walter Onnonghen, Chukwuma Ene, Ibrahim Coomasie, Olufunlola Adekeye and Mary Peter-Odili.
The court held that the provisions of that section of the Constitution will stand violated if the tenure of office of the Governors is calculated from their second taking of Oath of Office and the Oath of Allegiance and stated that their tenure started counting from their first Oath of office which they all took after they were declared winners of the April 2007 elections and that they are entitled to four year terms from that date.
The court also rapped the Peoples Democratic party for attempting to abort the hearing of the matter at the court through their preliminary objections filed against all the consolidated appeals. The party had argued that the subject matter of the appeals have become academic and should be dismissed.
While dismissing the PDP’s preliminary objections, the apex court maintained that the matter is of grave constitutional importance whose subject matter is still alive and cannot be truncated on the grounds of mere technicalities.
In countering the decisions of the Federal High Court and that of the Court of Appeal, the apex court asserted that the provision of the law did not envisage an indefinite occupation of office by a Governor and did not also envisage re run elections, left alone one to be won by the same person
The judgment is in an appeal by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship candidate in Adamawa State, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).