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Appeal Court Dismisses Suit Seeking Removal of Tambuwal As Sokoto Governor

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The Appeal Court in Abuja has dismissed the case filed by Senator Umaru Dahiru challenging the emergence of Governor Aminu Tambuwal as governor of Sokoto state.

In a ruling read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the court also awarded a cost of N100,000 against the appellants.

Dahiru had filed the appeal challenging the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja which dismissed his suit and that of another APC governorship aspirant, Aliyu Sanyinna, on the ground that they could not prove the allegations of irregularities in the primary election conducted on December 40 2014.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole had ruled that even if the applicants had succeeded in proving that there were irregularities in the primary, the court could not grant the reliefs because it was not an election petitions tribunal and therefore lacked jurisdiction.

Counsel to the appellants, Roland Otaru (SAN), while making his final submissions asked the Appeal Court to remove governor Tambuwal on the ground that he was not lawfully and validly elected as the APC gubernatorial candidate for the 2015 governorship elections.

He submitted that the APC constitution, primary election guidelines and the Electoral Act were grossly violated during the conduct of the December 2014 primary election.

The Senior Counsel argued that the disregard for the observance of due process got to the climax with the swapping of the delegate’s list by the governor to circumvent the rules provided for the conduct of the primary by the National Secretariat of the APC.

He then urged the appellate court to set aside the judgment of Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court which on June 22, 2017 upheld the primary election.

Otaru claimed that the Judge erred in law and engaged in mis-carriage of justice by going out of the counter claims of the respondents to arrive at his conclusion.

Specifically, the senior lawyer canvassed that the principal appellant, Senator Umaru Dahiru be declared the candidate of the APC in the 2015 governorship election.

Counsel to Tambuwal, Ibrahim Sunday Ameh (SAN) canvassed the dismissal of the suit for lacking in merit.

Ameh claimed that the fulcrum of the case of the appellants was non accreditation of delegates adding that they did not establish their allegation as required by law in court.

In his ruling, Justice Agim held that on the contentious claims by the appellants that accreditation of voters did not take place on the day of the primary election, making wild allegations will not stand the test of evidence if it is not backed by enough proof.

He said the appellants made contradictory claims in the affidavits filed at the trial court having allegedly claimed that there was no primary election conducted and in another averment established that not all the authentic delegates were accredited for the primary election.

He said for the case to stand the test of proof, it must be consistent with consistent evidence.

On the grounds of appeal that accused the trial court of engaging in judicial rascality, Justice Agim held that the trial court did a diligent job and its ruling was consistent with the provisions of the Electoral Act, the APC guidelines for elections, and the Nigerian Constitution.

The Judge therefore dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.



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