Court retains Gombe gov as APC candidate

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, has struck out a case brought before it by the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in Gombe State, Mohammed Barde, against Governor Inuwa Yahaya, the Independent National Electoral Commission and two others.

The court declined to nullify the candidacy of the governor.

Ruling on Tuesday, Justice Binta Nyako dismissed the allegation that the governor submitted forged documents to INEC.

Cited as first to third defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022 were INEC, the All Progressives Congress and Yahaya.

The plaintiffs, through their lawyer, Mr Johnson Usman (SAN), alleged that the governor lied on oath in documents he submitted to INEC.

The plaintiffs alleged that whereas the governor, in Form CF001 he submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification to contest the 2019 governorship election, stated that he worked with A.Y.U&Co Limited from1980-1990, in the Form EC-9 he submitted to seek re-election, he claimed that he worked in the same company from 1985 to 2003.

They argued that the third defendant was inconsistent in the depositions he made on oath.

The plaintiffs asked that the third defendant be disqualified from participating in the governorship election slated for March 11, adding that his action was in breach of both the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act of 2022.

Meanwhile, challenging the competence of the suit through their counsel, Mr Marshall Abubakar, the APC and the governor asked the court to dismiss it for lack of jurisdiction, arguing that the PDP and its members lacked the legal right to institute an action to challenge the nomination of a candidate by another political party.

They contended that the plaintiffs failed to establish any reasonable cause of action and that the suit had become statute-barred since it was not filed within 14 days after INEC published Yahaya’s name as a candidate for the election.

The defendants argued that only members of a party and its aspirants can challenge the outcome of a primary election or the nomination of a candidate.

Justice Nyako upheld the defendants’ preliminary objection and dismissed the suit for lack of competence.


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