Tambuwal wants judge to rule on objection to suit challenging his candidature | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Tambuwal wants judge to rule on objection to suit challenging his candidature

Posted: Apr 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Joe Nwankwo,Assistant Editor,Abuja

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal has objected to the decision of a Federal High Court in Abuja to hear  a suit, filed by Senator Umaru Dahiru and Barrister Aliyu Abubakar Sanyinna challenging his emergence as the All Progressive Congress’ governorship candidate for Sokoto, together with his (Tambuwal) objection to the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.

In an application filed by his lawyer, Jilbrin Okutepa, SAN, Tambuwal asked the court to depart from its practice of taking all applications with substantive suits in line with Order 29 of the Rules of the Federal High Court 2009.

The speaker while calling on the court presided by Justice Evos Chukwu to deliver ruling on his preliminary objection, he said that to lump the ruling on his objection with the substantive suit would breach his right to fair hearing.

According to him, his objection is such that cannot be taken with the substantive suit without resulting to a miscarriage of justice.

Justice Chukwu has adjourned the matter to April 13th, 14th and 15th for hearing.

The two plaintiffs, Senator Umaru Dahiru and Aliyu Abubakar Sanyinna had through thier counsel, Awa Kalu, SAN approached the court asking it to direct APC to withdraw the nomination of Tambuwal as its gubernatorial candidate and to hold another governorship primaries in Sokoto state.

The plaintiffs hinged their prayer on the ground that the governorship primaries conducted by APC on December 4, 2014 did not comply with the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 and the APC 2014 Guidelines? for nomination of candidates for public offices.

Cited as defendants in the suit are the APC, Tambuwal and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The plaintiffs argued that despite the fact that they were bonafide card-carrying members of APC, the party  breached its guidelines in relation to the nomination of candidates for public office as well as other relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

?The plaintiffs further submitted  that the screening of delegates on the day of the primaries was not done between the stipulated hours of 8am and 12 noon, and that the list of the delegates as issued by the National Secretariat  of APC was not used in the conduct of the said election of December 4, 2014.

The further said  that on the very day of election, members of the Sokoto State and Local Government as well as members of the State Assembly openly canvassed for votes for Tambuwal.

They also submitted that there were instances of delegates engaged in multiple voting to favour Tambuwal, and instead of just a single ballot box required at the election, 23 boxes were provided in order to perpetrate the alleged irregularities.

The plaintiffs alleged that voting was also done in a very rowdy scenario, adding that this gave rise to a ‘free for all voting’ in favour of Tambuwal.

Delegates, according to the plaintiffs were intimidated and threatened with the loss of their seats as members of executive in their respective capacities at ward, local government and state levels, should they vote for any other person than Tambuwal.