Update: Court Strikes Out Suit Seeking Tambuwal’s Removal

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday struck out a suit by Senator Umaru Dahiru, a governorship aspirant of the All Progressive Congress (APC), seeking to dethrone the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
The plaintiff had sought the nullification of the return of Tambuwal as the governorship candidate of APC in the 2015 gubernatorial election in Sokoto State, on the ground that he (Dahiru) was not the authentic candidate of the party.
He had also sought the substitution of Tambuwal’s name with that of his own as the APC flagbearer for the governorship election in the state and declare him as governor of Sokoto State.
But the 1st defendant (APC) and 2nd defendant (Tambuwal) vehemently objected to the application of the plaintiffs.
Recall that the Supreme Court had last year remitted the case file marked FHC/ABJ/CS/11/2015, back to the Federal High Court for a fresh trial on the ground that, “there is life” in the case in spite of the conduct of the governorship election that produced Tambuwal.
The apex court had disagreed with Tambuwal in his claim that the case of the plaintiff challenging his nomination by APC had become “academic and hypothetical”.
However, sequel to the Supreme Court’s order for retrial, Senator Dahiru through his counsel, Ikoro N. Ikoro, filed a motion on notice dated 30th January 2017, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/09/2017, seeking the variation of his pleadings in the motion on notice.
The plaintiffs had, at the last adjourned date in the matter, last month filed an application to amend an originating summons seeking Tambuwal’s removal as governor of Sokoto state.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole had adjourned the matter till Friday to rule on the plaintiffs application.
In his ruling on Friday the Judge said the application constituted a gross abuse of the process of the court and consequently, struck it out.
The Judge also dismissed plaintiffs’ motion on notice dated January 30, 2017 and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/09/2017,which emanated from an earlier suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/11/2015, filed on January 27, 2015 by Senator Umaru Dahiru and Barrister Aliyu Abubakar Sanyinna, seeking Tambuwal’s removal from office on the basis that the governor was wrongly nominated by APC as the governorship candidate of the party in the election which held on April 11, 2015.
However, ruling on the application for amendment filed by the plaintiff, Justice Kolawole apart from dismissing the application, equally struck out the motion on notice.
The court agreed with APC and Tambuwal that granting the application for amendment of the reliefs would change the “nature and character” of the case file which the Supreme Court had remitted to the court for retrial.
“The application of the plaintiffs is an ingenious attempt to have a second bite at the cherry; it is inconsistent with the reliefs sought in the motion on notice remitted from the Supreme Court”, Justice Kolawole held.
The court noted that the plaintiff had in his motion on notice filed on January 27, 2015, claimed that the December 4, 2014, primary election conducted by APC which produced Tambuwal was a, “hallowed ritual, a sham and in gross violation of Section 87 of the 2010 Electoral Act and the APC 2014 election guidelines”.
Justice Kolawole said granting the amendment would amount to “revalidation of a primary said to be flawed by the plaintiff.
“Granting the application will occasion injustice on the part of the 1st and 2nd defendants because the the motion on notice did not intend to cure any misnomer.
Justice Kolawole in dismissing the application, said “changing the case file is a fundamental issue of professional impropriety which must be not be tolerated.
“The amendment is malafide, dishonest, an abuse of court process, and intended to over each the Supreme Court and outsmart the 2nd defendant.
“Consequently, the application for amendment is hereby dismissed. The instant motion on notice marked FHC/ABJ/CS/09/2017, is not the one remitted by the Supreme Court for retrial.
“The case file that migrated from late Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Federal High Court to the Supreme Court was marked FHC/ABJ/CS/11/2015.
“In view of the fact that the application is dismissed, the case file has become empty and there is nothing to adjourn for or to be heard. Consequently, the case file is struck out” Justice Kolawole ordered.

Author: News Editor

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