Tuesday, June 16, 2020 1:50 pm
The Supreme Court has reserved it’s judgement on who is the authentic candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in last year’s November 16th Kogi Governorship Election.
The court had earlier fixed it’s sitting on the matter for today. However when it met, the court had to postpone it’s ruling because certain documents are still being awaited from the Court of Appeal. Consequently the Apex court reschedule ruling for next week Tuesday, 23 June.
Controversy over who won the Sept. 3rd 2019 primary election has lingered. The second runner up in the election, Abubakar Ibrahim, had approached the Lokoja High Court after exhausting the internal party mechanism to challenge the declaration of Musa Wada as winner of the election conducted under the supervision of Governor Fintiri of Adamawa State.
It would be called that the party primaries held at the Confluence Stadium Lokoja was distrupted by gunmen who shot sporadically in the venue as the ballots were being sorted immediately after voting.
The conclusion of the process at a private residence saw the eventual declaration of Wada as winner after after some controversial 600 ballot papers were added to his votes. Abubakar cried blue murder and headed to Lokoja High Court 4.
The Court had in February faulted the Party’s Governorship Primaries and delivered a no Victor, no Vanquished verdict. The Court held that following the violence that characterized the Election, the process could not have produced a clear winner, consequently the election was nullified.
Not satisfied with the outcome, Wada headed for an appeal against the judgement insisting that he was the candidate of the PDP, while Abubakar also cross appealed the Judgement, noting that it fell short of his prayers.
Both parties urged the court to set aside the ruling of the Lokoja High Court, describing the ruling as an adventure, as the judgement did not meet their prayers and expectations.
Otaru Rowland SAN, Counsel to Abubakar told the Appeal Court that the ruling of the Lokoja High Court, over ran the runway, insisting that the ruling granted prayers that were never pleaded for by the petitioner, while the ruling glossed over the issues of 241 missing votes and another 600 votes allegedly smuggled in by Engr. Musa Wada.
But in his submission, J.S. Okutepa, SAN, counsel to Wada, also described the ruling by the Lokoja High Court as a surprise, noting that it failed to meet the expectations of his client. He insisted the election was free, fair and credible and that his client won.
But the panel of Justices, drawn from Edo, Kwara and Benue States having listened to all the parties, including INEC and the PDP, accepted the fact that there was a primary held by the PDP on September 3, with the Lokoja High Court having the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, but the judgement was however silent on who was the candidate of the party.
A credible source confirmed to TheNews that the Supreme Court is expected to determine the issues of rightful candidate in its judgement on Tuesday.
The substantive Governorship election eventually held in the State on Saturday 16th November. The Independent National Election Commission declared Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress re-elected in the poll.