- Orders them to refund salaries, allowances
The Supreme Court of Nigeria yesterday, ordered Sani Abubakar Danladi, representing Taraba North Senatorial District, to vacate his seat and refund all salaries and allowances he received within 90 days.
In the same breath, the apex court sacked the House of Representatives member for Vandikwa/ Konshisha constituency, Herman Hembe and ordered him to return all salaries he collected so far.
The court also declared Alhaji Shuaibu Isa Lau, as the senator representing Taraba North. The order was contained in the judgement of the court on the appeal filed by Lau. Both Danladi and Lau are members of the Peoples Democratic Party.(PDP).
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 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 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 should return to the National Assembly, all salaries and allowances received as a senator within 90 days.”
On Herman Hembe, the court declared the seat of the lawmaker vacant and ruled that Mrs. Dorathy Mato who won the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket for the constituency is the rightful candidate. The court, in its ruling, ordered Hembe to return all salaries and benefits collected while in office within 90 days.
Sokoto guber: Court affirms Tambuwal’s election
A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, affirmed the election of Aminu Tambuwal as governor of Sokoto State. The court dismissed the suit filed by Sen. Umar Dahiru, challenging the nomination of Tambuwal as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 2015 general elections.
Justice Gabriel Kolawale dismissed the suit on the grounds that Dahiru failed to prove his claims that the APC primary elections in 2014, were conducted in violation of the party’s guidelines and constitution.
“The plaintiff did not pin point in specific terms in what ways and manner the APC did not comply with its guidelines and constitution.”
Justice Kolawale had fixed June 23 to deliver judgment in the matter after listening to final arguments from counsel involved in the legal battle over the Sokoto State governorship seat.
In his argument, counsel to Dahiru, Mr Roland Otaru ( SAN), urged the court to nullify and set aside the primary election that produced Tambuwal as candidate for the 2015 governorship election in the state.
Otaru premised his arguments on the grounds that the constitution of the APC, the APC guidelines on the primary elections and the Electoral Act 2010 were “violently violated” in the conduct of the primary election.
The counsel maintained that the primary election was conducted in breach of the relevant rules since verification and accreditation of delegates were not done in spite of the fact that they were mandatory.
He urged the court to take a judicial notice of the list containing the names of the delegates who participated in the primary election and the report of the APC.
The counsel said that there was no evidence of verification and accreditation in compliance with relevant laws.
On his part, Mr Jubrin Okutepa (SAN), counsel to the APC, asked the court to dismiss Dahiru’s case on the grounds that his claims were inconsistent.
Okutepa drew the court’s attention to the affidavit evidence Dahiru prepared in 2015, where he admitted that accreditation of delegates was carried out.
He said it was only in a further affidavit prepared in 2017, that he recanted his earlier position and said that accreditation was not carried out. According to him, a litigant must be consistent in his claim.
He added that Dahiru failed to call delegates to give evidence that they were not accredited and that the court should as such presume that there was proper accreditation.
Mr Sunday Ameh (SAN), counsel to Tambuwal who aligned himself with the submission of Okutepa said it was too late for Dahiru who admitted that there was accreditation in 2015 to make a u-turn in 2017. According to Ameh, the period for primary election has expired in line with the 1999 Constitution, and as such, Dahiru’s case has become an academic exercise.