Sokoto State governorship tussle: FHC affirms Tambuwal’s election

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

The Federal High Court, Abuja Division, yesterday affirmed the election of Aminu Tambuwal, as the duly elected governor of Sokoto State.

Consequently, the court dismissed a suit filed by Senator Umaru Dahiru challenging the nomination of Tambuwal as the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for lacking in merit.

Dahiru, a governorship aspirant under APC in 2015 general election, had approached the court, praying for cancellation of the 2015 governorship election held in Sokoto State on the ground that APC primary election that produced Tambuwal as the flag bearer was fraught with irregularities.

He added that the primary election conducted by APC on December 4, 2014 in the state was fraudulent, because the original list of the delegates for the election was swapped in favour of Tambuwal by some external forces.

He, therefore, prayed the court to declare the election as unlawful.

According to him, the list of accredited delegates was swapped at the election venue and votes were arbitrarily, unlawfully and fraudulently allocated to the aspirants after series of manipulations, intimidation and threat from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials.

However, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who delivered judgment on the suit, held that the plaintiff was unable to prove the alleged irregularities in the APC primaries.

Kolawole aligned with the respondents that granting the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs would amount to a violation of the constitution and the rules of the court.

The court had at its last sitting, fixed yesterday to deliver judgment after counsel in the matter adopted their briefs and final arguments in the battle.

Not satisfied with the outcome of the APC governorship primary, Dahiru had dragged the APC, Tambuwal and the INEC to court, urging the court to nullify and set aside the primary election on the ground that the said primary was not in compliance with the Electoral Act 2010, the APC guideline on the primary election and the party’s constitution.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Chief Roland Otaru (SAN), while arguing the originating summon, urged Justice Kolawole to void and set aside the primary election that produced Tambuwal for the governorship election, saying the constitution of the APC, the APC guideline on the primary election and the Electoral Act 2010 were violently violated in the conduct of the election.

But council to APC, Jubrin Okutekpa (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the case on the ground that plaintiff was inconsistent in his claims.

Counsel to Tambuwal, Sunday Ameh (SAN), who aligned himself with the submission of the APC Counsel, held that it was too late in the day for the plaintiff, who admitted in January 2015 that accreditation was done, to now make a U-turn that no accreditation was done.

After listening to arguments from the parties, Justice Kolawole then fixed yesterday for judgment.

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