Barristers & Solicitors
Court dismisses suit against Abacha’s candidacy

The Federal High Court has dismissed a suit by Jafar Sani Bello challenging the nomination of Mohammed Abacha as the Kano State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s election.

Ballo, a governorship aspirant, who came second behind Abacha in the last governorship primary, had, in the suit marked: FHC/KN/CS/186/2022, sought the nullification of Abacha’s nomination.

The plaintiff, who sought to replace Abacha as the party’s candidate, had claimed among others, that his (Abacha’s) name was not on the membership register of the PDP in Fagge Ward, Fagge Local Government Area, Kano State and as such, he was not qualified to have contested the primary election.

In a judgment delivered via Zoom on Wednesday, Justice A. M Liman of the Kano division of the Federal High Court, held among others, that the absence of Abacha’s name on the register of the PDP in Fagge was not enough to disqualify him from contesting the primary election.

Justice Liman, who upheld the arguments by Abacha’s lawyer, Reuben Atabo (SAN), held that the PDP membership card issued to Abacha and the waiver granted him by the party were sufficient to qualify him for the primary election.

The judge held that having polled the highest number of valid votes cast at the primary election, he (Abacha) was the actual winner and the party’s authentic candidate.

Listed along with Abacha as defendants in the case were the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Sadiq Wali.

Justice Liman had, in an earlier judgment delivered via Zoom on December 22 voided the submission of Wali’s name to INEC as the governorship candidate of the PDP in Kano.

The judge held that INEC acted unlawfully to have accepted and published Wali’s name in place of Abacha, who scored the highest votes at the PDP’s gubernatorial primary held in Kano on May 25.

Justice Liman ordered INEC to accept and publish Abacha’s name as PDP’s authentic governorship candidate.

The judgment was on the suit marked: FHC/KA/CS/204/2022 filed by Abacha.

Abacha had claimed that, after emerging as the primary winner, he was surprised that some leaders of the PDP in Kano State sent Wali’s name to INEC as against his own, a decision he challenged by instituting the suit.