Sokoto Guber Tussle: Court Fixes June 23 for Judgment

The governorship tussle between Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and another member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a governorship aspirant in the party’s primary, Senator Umaru Dahiru, will be laid to rest on June 23 when judgment will be delivered.
A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, Tuesday, adjourned to deliver the verdict in the disputes that arose from the conduct of primary election held on December 4, 2014.
Justice Kolawale fixed the June 23 date for judgment after taking final arguments from counsel involved in the legal tussle over Sokoto governorship seat.
Senator Dairu had dragged the APC, Tambuwal and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the court, praying for order of the court to nullify and set aside the Sokoto State APC primary election that produced Tambuwal as candidate of the party on the grounds that it was not in compliance with Electoral Act 2010, the APC guidelines and the party’s constitution.
Arguing the originating summon on behalf of the plaintiff, Chief Rowland Otaru, urged Justice Kolawole to void and set aside the primary election that produced Tambuwal for the 2015 governorship election.
His ground was that the constitution of the APC and party guidelines for the primary election and Electoral Act were violently violated in the conduct of the primary.
The counsel claimed that there was breach, claiming the rules, verification and accreditation of delegates were not done inspite of the fact they were mandatory.
Otaru urged the court to take a judicial notice of the list containing the names of the delegates who participated at the primary and the report of the APC, adding that there was no evidence of verification and accreditation in compliance of the relevant laws.
He insisted that the purported primary election that produced Tambuwal was a nullity having failed to comply with the party’s guidelines.
However, counsel to APC, Jubril Okutekpa, told Justice Kolawole to dismiss the case of the plaintiff on the grounds of inconsistencies in his claims.
Okutekpa drew the attention of the court to the affidavit evidence of the plaintiff prepared in 2015, where he admitted that accreditation of delegates was conducted and further affidavit of the same plaintiff prepared in 2017 where the plaintiff made a U-turn that no accreditation was done.
He submitted that a litigant must be consistent in his claims and must not be slippery.
The counsel said that plaintiff failed to call delegates to give evidence that they were not accredited, adding that in the face of the failure the court should presume in favour of the proper accreditation.
“The case of the plaintiff is bereft of any evidential support to warrant any declaration to be made and I urged the court to dismiss the case of the plaintiff and uphold the nomination of Tambuwal.
In his argument, counsel to Tambuwal, Sunday Ameh, aligned himself with the submission of the APC counsel adding that it is too late in the day for the plaintiff who admitted in January 2015 that accreditation was done to make a U-turn in 2017 that no accreditation was done.
Beside, the counsel submitted that the period for primary election expired in line with 1999 Constitution and as such the case of the plaintiff had died and become academic.
After taking arguments from the parties, Justice Kolawole fixed June 23 for judgment in the matter.

Author: News Editor

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