Court fixes date for judgment in suit seeking to sack Tambuwal

Court fixes date for judgment in suit seeking to sack Tambuwal

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 6:50 pm

Governor Aminu Tambuwal

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal will know whether he will continue in office on 23 June when judgment in the suit filed by Senator Umaru Dahiru challenging his emergence as the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC in the 2015 governorship election would be delivered.

A Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, is expected to deliver the verdict in the dispute over the conduct of the primary election held on December 4, 2014 through which Tambuwal emerged as APC candidate.

Justice Kolawole fixed the date for judgment on Monday after final arguments from counsels involved in the legal tussle over the APC ticket.

Senator Dahiru had dragged the APC, Tambuwal and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court praying for an order to nullify and set aside the Sokoto state APC primary election on the grounds that its conduct was not in compliance with the Electoral Act 2010, the APC guidelines on the primary election and the party’s constitution.

Arguing the originating summons on his behalf, Chief Roland Otaru SAN, his lead counsel had urged Justice Kolawole to void and set aside the primary election that produced Tambuwal for the 2015 governorship election.

He argued that the constitution of the APC, the APC guideline on primary elections and the Electoral Act 2010 were violently violated in the conduct of the election.

The counsel alleged that in breach of the rules, verification and accreditation of delegates were not done in spite of the fact that 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 purported primary and the report of the APC, adding that there was no evidence of verification and accreditation of delegates as required by relevant laws.

The SAN insisted that the purported primary that produced Tambuwal was a nullity having failed to comply with the APC guidelines and other relevant laws on primary election.

However, counsel to the APC, Jubrin Okutepa told Justice Kolawole to dismiss the case of the plaintiff on the grounds of inconsistency in his claims.

He drew the attention of the court to the affidavit evidence of the plaintiff prepared in 2015, where he admitted that accreditation of delegates was done and further affidavit of the same plaintiff prepared in 2017, where the plaintiff made a u-turn.

He submitted that a litigant must be consistent in his claim.

The counsel said the plaintiff failed to call delegates to give evidence that they were not accredited, adding that in the face of the failure to do that the court should presumed in favor of proper accreditation.

“The case of the plaintiff is bereft of any evidential support to warrant any declaration to be made in his favor”, the laws said and urged the court to dismiss the case of the plaintiff and uphold the nominee.

In his own argument counsel to Tambuwal, Mr. Sunday Ibrahim Ameh (SAN) aligned himself with the submissions 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.

Besides, the counsel submitted that the period for primary election has expired in line with 1999 constitution as such the case of the plaintiff has become an academic

Counsel to INEC Alhassan Umar told the Court that INEC would be neutral and will abide the decision of the court.

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