Court adjourns ruling on suit to unseat Tambuwal

Aminu Tambuwal
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday adjourned ruling in an application seeking to amend an originating summon pleading for the removal of Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State from office.

The application filed by Umaru Dahiru was on accounts that the primary election of the All Progressives Congress, APC, that produced Mr. Tambuwal for the 2015 governorship election was not validly conducted.

The counsel to Mr. Dahiru, Ikoro I. Ikoro, argued and sought to amend the originating summon filed against the APC, Mr. Tambuwal and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before the April 11, 2015 governorship election.

In the amendment, Mr. Dahiru, a former senator, is now praying the court to remove Tambuwal from office and declare him as the winner of the December 2014 APC Primary Election.

He also asked the court for an order compelling INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the governor and present it to him on the grounds that he was the lawfully elected candidate of the APC at the primary election.

The senator also sought an order nullifying the nomination of Mr. Tambuwal by APC for the 2015 governorship election and replace him as the properly nominated APC candidate to INEC for the 2015 governorship election.

However, in his objection to the application, the counsel to APC, Jubrin Okutepa, asked the court to dismiss the request for the amendment.

He said his objection was on grounds that it is not in compliance with the Supreme Court Judgment of December 9, 2016, which ordered a retrial of the plaintiff’s case.

Mr. Okutepa argued that the applicant (Mr. Dahiru) had changed the character and direction of his earlier originating summon.

He also said that the applicant sought to amend the originating summon because of his sudden discovery that event had overtaken the initial originating summon.

The counsel added that any attempt to allow the amendment will amount to an affront to the Supreme Court Judgment of December last year.

Mr. Okutepa further argued that the applicant was not consistent in the reliefs being sought in the proposed amendment; as in the originating summon, the applicant had asked the court to nullify the APC primary election.

He said this was on grounds that it was unlawfully conducted and that the same applicant cannot seek to be declared winner of the said unlawfully conducted primary election.

The counsel therefore urged the court to refuse the amendment and allow hearing in the initial originating summon as directed by the Supreme Court.

The counsel to Mr. Tambuwal, Sunday Ameh, aligned himself with the submission of the APC and urged the court to hold that the amendment being sought by the governorship aspirant is unmeritorious.

The counsel insisted that it is too late in the day for the applicant to seek the relief after the governorship election had been conducted, adding that the proper place for the applicant to ventilate his anger is the election petition tribunal.

Mr. Ameh also submitted that the applicant cannot even go to any election petition tribunal because the 21 day required by law under which a petition can be filed to challenge the election of any declared winner had lapsed since 2015.

He also prayed the court to refuse the temptation of turning itself to an election petition tribunal as there is no law for such an action.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole after taking arguments from both parties fixed March 10 to give ruling on whether to allow or refuse the proposed amendment sought by the former governorship aspirant.


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