The Supreme Court, on Friday, upheld the nomination of Agbu Kefas as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 11 March governorship election in Taraba State.
An aggrieved PDP governorship aspirant, Jerome Nyameh, a professor, had urged the court to nullify Mr Agbu’s nomination for the poll on account of an alleged violation of the Electoral Act and the Constitution.
But the court, while delivering judgement in the appeal, held that Mr Nyameh failed to explore the internal mechanisms of resolving primary election disputes before lodging the suit.
A member of the five-man panel of the Supreme Court, Emmanuel Agim, who read the unanimous decision, said the appellant (Mr Nyameh) did not join other aspirants that participated in the primary poll as defendants as statutorily required.
He dismissed two appeals on the subject matter.
The court held that the appellants acted in breach of Sections 84 and 87(9) of the Electoral Act by failing to make use of the primary election dispute mechanism as contained in the party’s guidelines.
After dismissing the appeals, Mr Agim affirmed Mr Kefas’ candidacy for the PDP for the Taraba State governorship election.
“In the light of this, both appeals were deemed premature and lacking in merit as they were instituted without exploring the internal party options to seek redress before heading to court.
“Failure of the appellants to include other aspirants who took part in the primary at the early stages of the trial robbed them of rights to fair hearing,” Mr Agim said.
The Court of Appeal in Jalingo, Taraba State, had in November 2022, affirmed Mr Agbu’s nomination for the election.
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The appellate court upheld the decision of the Federal High Court, Jalingo, which dismissed Mr Nyameh’s suit challenging Mr Agbu’s nomination for the PDP primary election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Mr Agbu at the governorship primary election of the PDP won the contest with 443 votes out of the 517 votes cast. (NAN)
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