Gov Nyako accused AIT of working worth his political opponents to unsettle his government.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Yola, on Wednesday dismissed a suit instituted by one Umar Ardo challenging the nomination of Governor Murtala Nyako as the PDP candidate for the governorship election held in the state during the 2011 general election.
In its lead judgement read by Ignatius Igwe, the court upheld the judgement of the lower court which declared Mr. Nyako the candidate of the PDP.
It held that Mr. Ardo has failed to prove, before it, that he participated in the primary election.
The judge also held that Mr. Ardo lacks the constitutional powers to challenge the outcome of elections, though controversial, that he did not participate in.
The Appeal Court, however, agreed with the plaintiff that the process that nominated Mr. Nyako was flawed. It ruled that Mr. Nyako was not duly nominated as stipulated by the provisions of the electoral act 2010 as amended, the PDP constitution, and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The judge, however, held that the court was constrained by section 31 sub section (1) of the electoral act 2010 as amended to order for fresh election.
He therefore dismissed the appeal.
Plaintiff to appeal
However, the plaintiff, Mr. Ardo, declared that he was not satisfied with the ruling of the Court of Appeal and has vowed to head to the Supreme Court to challenge it.
Mr. Ardo said some of the contents of Wednesday’s ruling gave him a window of opportunity which he will explore. He added that contrary to the position of the Court of Appeal, he participated fully in the primary election and scored zero vote.
Addressing a press conference shortly after the verdict, Mr. Ardo said, “The Court of Appeal supported most of my grounds of arguments except the issue of participation as an aspirant and it is this issue that I will go and prove at the Supreme Court; that I really participated and the result showed that I scored zero vote.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Nyako said he will sue the African Independent Television (AIT) for misinforming the general public by reporting that his election was nullified by the Appeal Court.
The governor, who spoke though his Senior Special Assistant on Political Matters, Yinka Heritage, accused the station of working with his political opponents who, he said, had failed to unsettle his government through other means and now resorted to using the AIT.
“Nyako came to power through the people’s mandate and his victory at the polls was challenged from the electoral tribunal up to the Supreme Court which upheld his victory,” Mr. Heritage said.
The governor further argued that in law, “you don’t give what you don’t have,” and pointed out that Umar Ardo went to court to complain that he was edged out of the PDP primaries and the court said that he lacked the locus standi to challenge an election he did not participate in.
“Unfortunately, the AIT mischievously went on air to broadcast that Nyako’s election has been nullified. We believe that the zonal coordinator of AIT in the North East is behind it because he has teamed up with the opposition to cause disaffection in the state.”
Mr. Nyako also accused the Chairman of AIT, Raymond Dokpesi, who was a former Chief of Staff to the National Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, when the latter was governor of Gongola State, of carrying out “a hatchet job”.
Also the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in the State, Ibrahim Tahir, declared that the state was studying the news aired by the AIT for possible legal action.
He described the report as a very sensitive one given the security challenges the states in the North East geo-political zone are facing at present.