Jun 24, 2017

Judge Explains Why Tambuwal’s Election Was Upheld

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Friday dismissed an application challenging the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal as governor of Sokoto State.

A member of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, Umar Dahiru, had accused the party of not complying with mandatory rules guiding the conduct of primary elections.Mr. Dahiru had urged the court to nullify Mr. Tambuwal’s election, saying his candidacy was forced on other members of the party, during the December 4, 2014 governorship primaries.

In his ruling Friday, Justice Gabriel Kolawole said his court lacked the jurisdiction to order another election.

“When I read the submissions of the plaintiff, my question was: will it be within my judicial powers to decide the date for another primaries? I am not in any doubt that this court does not have the jurisdiction to order a fresh general election that will require the participation of other parties,” said Mr. Kolawole.

He added that nullifying the primaries conducted by the APC would result in a “dark judicial allay”, as the winner of the 2015 election would now be the member of the party that emerged second.

The judge wondered whether the plaintiff understood the implication of his application, since he had not in any part of the motion submitted that he had emerged winner of the disputed primaries.

Given the constitutional effect of nullifying the primaries as demanded by the plaintiff, Mr. Kolawole said that: “Even if the plaintiff had considered this far reaching effect, it would have been constitutionally required that the APC and Mr. Tambuwal’s consent be sought before such a decision could be reached.”

He therefore echoed the words of the defence counsel in their affidavit, which questioned the “grantability” of the request as sought by the applicant.

Mr. Kolawole further said Mr. Dahiru failed to state the parts of the APC rules that were specifically not complied with in his allegation, thus making the request lacking in merit.

The judge urged the applicant to consider the judgement in good faith, and in the interest of democracy, as well as for the good of the party.