Law News
Tambuwal seeks dismissal of suit challenging his candidature
Speaker of the House of Representatives and governor-elect of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss a suit challenging his emergence as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress in the just concluded governorship election in the state.
Tambuwal, through his lawyer, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), argued on Monday that given his victory at the Saturday’s poll, there was no longer  any “live issue” in the case to be determined by the court.
The APC’s counsel, Mr. Solomon Ameh (SAN), also canvassed similar argument before Justice Evoh Chukwu, during the Monday’s proceedings when the main matter was scheduled for hearing.
“I associate myself with the concern expressed by the counsel to the first defendant,” he said.
The plaintiff, Senator Umaru Dahiru, through his counsel, Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN), however insisted that there was still reasonable cause of action in the case.
Dahiru had filed the suit after the December 14, 2014 APC governorship primaries in Sokoto State, urging the court to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission from recognising Tambuwal as the APC’s governorship candidate.
He had contended that the primary breached not only the provisions of 2010 Electoral Act but also the APC’s electoral guidelines.
Okutepa on Monday urged the presiding judge, Justice Evoh Chukwu, to order counsel in the case to address the court on whether or not there was still any legal reason for the court to continue hearing the case after the actual governorship election had been conducted and results declared.
He said, “The governorship election has been won and lost. Has this action not become academic? Is there any live issue to determined as utilitarian value to the plaintiff in view of the relief sought by him‎. I believe this issue should be resolved by your Lordship before any other step can be taken.
“Your Lordship should order counsel to address the court on this issue.  The court should allow us to address your Lordship. There is no more live issue in this case.”
But Kalu described the application by Tambuwal and APC as an attempt to deliberately “kill” his case.
Kalu said, “When counsel deliberately kills a case, it must have a consequence. It is like murder. This case will expose the choreography of the murder of the case. I do not agree that the case is dead.
“It is their responsibility to enunciate how the case is dead.”
The court ordered Tambuwal and APC to, within five days, file an address on the issue and serve same on the plaintiff. He also ordered the plaintiff to respond within five days of receiving the defendants’ processes.
The matter was then adjourned till April 27.
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