Reps seat: Court nullifies substitution of PDP candidate
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to accept and publish the name of one Sani Yakubu Noma as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for Argungu/Augie Federal Constituency of Kebbi State for the 2023 general elections.
The court nullified the substitution of the name of the plaintiff carried out by PDP leadership on the ground of being unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.
Noma in a suit against PDP and others had claimed that he contested the primary election of PDP for Argungu/Augie federal constituency conducted on May 25 2022 and emerged victorious, having polled the highest number of votes.
However, he alleged that PDP submitted his name with one Garuba Argungu who at the time, contested only the Kebbi State governorship primary and lost.
Dissatisfied with the substitution of his name, Noma through his counsel, John Usman (SAN) dragged PDP, Garuba, INEC and others to court, challenging the unlawful replacement of his name on the INEC list.
Delivering his judgment on Monday, Justice Baba Gana Ashigar held that PDP acted ultra vires in the ways and manners the name of the plaintiff was substituted.
Justice Ashigar while voiding the substitution for being unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional, proceeded to set it aside.
The judge subsequently ordered INEC to immediately accept and publish the name of the plaintiff as the valid candidate of PDP for the federal constituency in the House of Representatives election scheduled for February 2023.
Justice Ashigar prohibited PDP and INEC from recognising, accepting or listing any other name other than that of the plaintiff for the House of Representatives election.
The PDP and Garba Argungu had upon been served with the originating summons, filed preliminary objections to the suit challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the case.
But Justice Ashigar dismissed the preliminary objections against the plaintiff’s suit and agreed with Usman that the preliminary objections were frivolous, baseless, and unwarranted.
In considering the originating summons, the court upheld all the arguments of the plaintiff through his Counsel, Usman that the case of the plaintiff was meritorious and ought to be granted the reliefs sought.
The judge thereafter ordered INEC to accept and publish the name of the plaintiff as the candidate of PDP for Argungu/Augie federal constituency of Kebbi State in the 2023 general election.