A Federal High Court in Jos, on Friday, dismissed a suit filed by Mr Alexander Molwus, challenging the election of a former Plateau State Governor, Senator Joshua Dariye, as the PDP candidate in last year’s PDP senatorial primary elections held in the state.
Mwolwus, a former Chief of Staff, Government House, when Dariye was governor, and later Special Adviser (SA) to Dariye’s successor, Mr Jonah Jang, had challenged the eligibility of Dariye in taking part in the PDP senatorial primaries for Plateau Central District.
Dariye had left Labour Party (LP) on which platform he served as Senator from 2011-2015 and joined PDP last year, where he won the primaries after beating five other aspirants, including Mwolwus.
Delivering judgment, Justice Ambrose Allagoa, dismissed the suit forthwith and upheld the participation and election of Sen. Joshua Dariye as the PDP candidate for Plateau Central Senatorial District in the Dec. 7 party primaries held in Pankshin, the Senatorial District headquarters.
The judge said: “The Plaintiff did not approach or exhaust the internal mechanism of the party before challenging the election of the defendant (Dariye) in court.”
He said that by Section 21 (6), the power to choose a candidate for any election rests solely with the political party and not an individual.
“Therefore, the plaintiff has failed to prove his case against the defendant.The case is, hereby, dismissed for lack of merit,’’ he said.
Molwus had, through his counsel, Mr J.S Iliya, prayed the court to nullify the election of Dariye at the primaries on the ground that his former boss was not formally re-absorbed but was granted waiver by the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja.
According to him, the state party leadership did not recognise Dariye as a member of the party until the waiver that came shortly before the primaries.
Dariye, through his counsel, Mr Garba Pwul (SAN), had asked the court to strike out the case for lack of merit, arguing that only a political party had the power to choose its candidates for any election.