The senator that was sacked on Friday was not the rightful candidate of his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the Supreme Court ruled.
The Supreme Court ordered Abubakar Danladi, representing Taraba North Senatorial District, to vacate his seat and refund all salaries and allowances he received within 90 days.
The court also declared Shuaibu Lau as the senator representing Taraba North.
The order was contained in the judgement of the court on the appeal filed by Mr. Lau.
Both Messrs. Danladi and Lau are members of the PDP.
Mr. Lau had challenged the decision of the Court of Appeal that upturned his victory during the primary elections. He claimed that he was wrongfully substituted.
The apex court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate issued to Mr. Danladi and issue a fresh certificate of return to Lau.
The apex court in the unanimous judgment of a five-member panel held that the appellant had the right to participate just like any other candidate in the primary election.
The court added that if Mr. Lau felt that his right was infringed upon, he had the right to approach the court.
“From the totality of the appeal before this court, all the issues are resolved in favour of the appellant.
“His substitution at the primary election is null and void since the appellant scored the highest number of votes, the only option is to declare the appellant as the winner of primary election.
“This court hereby orders that the appellant be issued with the certificate of return and the respondent should immediately vacate the seat.
“He (Mr. Danladi) should return to the National Assembly, all salaries and allowances received as a senator within 90 days.
A DIFFERENT HISTORY
Mr. Danladi’s political career was once saved by the same Supreme Court that ousted him on Friday.
In 2014, the court ordered him reinstated as Taraba State deputy governor after he was impeached in controversial circumstances.
Mr. Danladi was the first deputy governor who ran on the same ticket with former Governor Danbaba Suntai.
He was impeached on October 4, 2012 shortly before Mr. Suntai took ill after an air crash. He was accused of fraud and abuse of office.
Another politician, Garba Umar, was then appointed deputy governor after his removal.
And after then Governor Suntai took ill following a plane crash, it was Mr. Umar who assumed the position of acting governor.
But the Supreme Court ruled on November 21, 2014, nullifying Mr. Danladi’s impeachment, and clearing him to replace Mr. Umar as acting governor. The court said Mr. Danladi was denied fair hearing before he was impeached.
Seven justices of the court agreed with the ruling, delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, at the time.
Mr. Danladi remained in office as acting governor until May 29, 2015. He was elected senator on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party during the 2015 general election.
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