Supreme Court Orders Retrial of Tambuwal’s Case

The Supreme Court has ordered a retrial by the Federal High Court, Abuja, the case which sought to challenge the propriety of the nomination of Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tambuwal as the All Progressives Congress candidate in the 2014 governorship election in the state.
The apex court said the case should be retried on its merit and make decision as demanded by law.
Senator Umaru Dahiru had challenged the propriety of Tambuwal nomination as candidate for the 2015 governorship election by the All Progressive Congress (APC), alleging it was fraught with irregularities.
However, the Supreme Court, Friday, dismissed Tambuwal’s bid to stop the court’s action.
The apex court held that the nomination of Tambuwal by his party can be challenged by another governorship aspirant on the ground that he has sufficient justifiable reason to do so.
The Supreme Court Justices, in a unanimous decision by the five man panel, disagreed with Tambuwal that his challenger has no case against him.
The court held that the primary election that produced him can be challenged by another governorship aspirant, the contrary, according to the the Justices, democracy will be in jeopardy.
In the lead judgment by Justice Musa Dattijo Mohammed and read by Justice Chima Nweze, the apex court set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal that the legal action instituted by Senator Dahiru against Tambuwal had been overtaken by events on the strength of the April 11, 2015 election of the Governor
The Supreme Court said that the Appeal Court erred in law by holding that event had overtaken the case of the appellant simply because the governorship election had been conducted after the primary election of APC that produced Tambuwal.
Senator Dahiru had challenged the conduct of the primary election that produced Tambuwal as candidate of APC on the ground it was fraught with fraud.
The Senator claimed that the primary election of APC conducted in 2014 in Sokoto was fraudulent because the original list of the delegates for the primary election was swapped in favour of Tambuwal by some external forces.
By this development, the Federal High Court in Abuja is now to determine the matter against Tambuwal on its merit and acceleratedly as ordered by the Supreme Court.
Two appellants Senator Dahiru and Barrister Aliyu Abubakar Sanyinna who were governorship aspirants on the APC Platform in the 2014 general election had filed the appeal.
In their brief of arguments filed by Professor Awa Kalu, the two appellants pleaded with the apex court to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeal which held that their suit had become academic exercise by virtue of the election of Tambuwal in the April 11, 2015 governorship poll.
In the brief of argument adopted by Ikoro M. Ikoro, the two appellants insisted that the lower court (Appeal Court) erred in law by holding that their joint suit has no life to sustain it simply because of the conducted general election.
They argued that the April 11, 2015 general election cannot take life out of their case or render it academic exercise because the suit had been filed on January 27, 2015 long before the general election was conducted.
They asked the apex court to invoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to resolve the issue to a finality as the said section of the law empowers it to act as a court of first instance in the circumstances of the case.
Respondents in the appeal are the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
But counsel to Tambuwal, Sunday Ibrahim Ahmed, stood his ground that the reliefs sought by the appellants at the Federal High Court have been overtaken by the general election and the declaration of Tambuwal as winner of the April 11, 2015 election.
The counsel urged the court to dismiss the appeal on the ground that it had become pure academic issue without any live.

Author: News Editor

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