A federal High Court in Kano yesterday nullified the governorship primaries conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in which Abba Kabir-Yusuf emerged as its standard-bearer in the state.This is coming barely five days to the governorship and state House of Assembly elections nationwide.
The cancellation followed a suit filed before the Court by one of the party’s gubernatorial aspirants, Ibrahim Ali-Amin, who challenged the legitimacy of the process that produced Kabir-Yusuf. Al-Amin had alleged that the PDP sidelined and booted him out of the race in the primary election.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Lewis Allagoa, nullified the election on the grounds that the party had no incontrovertible reasons to deny the plaintiff participation in the primary election because he formally brought his expression and nomination form. Allagoa also held that denying the plaintiff the right to participate in the primary election contravened provisions of the Electoral Act and ordered fresh primary election before the governorship election slated for March 9.
Earlier, Ali-Amin prayed the court to nullify the election on the ground that it was grossly flawed, given the manner in which he was sidelined with no justifiable reasons to legitimise such an act. He said he was denied participation in the primary election, in spite of the fact that he brought his expression and nomination form.
Ali-Amin also argued that there was also the need for the court to interpret whether the party could go ahead to field a candidate for the poll in Kano State without conducting primary election or not.In his submission, counsel to the plaintiff, Kabir Usman said the judgement was legally expedient, since his client had been denied the right to contest the election.He said with the cancellation of the primary election, the governorship slot is now vacant, pending when a fresh and valid primary election is held.
Reacting to the development, PDP’s counsel, Bashir Yusuf said the verdict did not affect Abba Kabir-Yusuf as a candidate, but PDP as a party, saying the party would appeal the judgement. Besides, the PDP campaign team has insisted that it would not be distracted by the judgement, but would continue its political rally as election draws nearer. A statement issued by Spokesman of the PDP candidate, Sanusi Bature, said, “Abba remains PDP’s candidate for the Saturday, March 9, 2019 poll.”
Meanwhile, a Kano based lawyer, Musa Adamu Aliyu challenged the validity of the verdict, insisting that the Supreme Court judgement has set precedence for similar matters, adding that the court lacks the power to order such prayer. Musa cited All Progressives Congress (APC) versus Karfi 2015 in Kano where Justice of Supreme Court ruled that no court has the power to order primary elections out of time limit, as provided in the Electoral Act.