Supreme Court Declines to Unseat Tambuwal, Orders High Court to Retry Case

Order

The Supreme Court Friday declined to remove Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from office.

Instead, it ruled that a case filed by

Senator Umaru Dahiru challenging the nomination of Tambuwal as candidate
of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 2015 governorship
election be retried at the Federal High Court.
Dahiru contested for the governorship
election in the December 2014 primaries of the APC, but lost to
Tambuwal, who eventually went on to win the gubernatorial poll conducted
by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in April 2015.
He was subsequently sworn in as Governor on May 29 of the same year.
Friday’s ruling followed an earlier
judgement given by the Supreme Court in June this year which dismissed
application by the Sokoto State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) and it’s governorship candidate, Senator Abdallah Wali, to be
joined as parties to Dahiru’s suit.
In a judgement written by Hon. Justice
Musa Dattijo Muhammed, JSC, and read by Hon. Justice CC Nweze, JSC, the
court held that rather than consider the case as mere academic exercise,
the High Court should retry it on its merit.
Counsel to Tambuwal, Paul M. Kassim,
Esq, who led six other lawyers, said the defence is satisfied with the
ruling and will get set for trial at the Federal High Court.
“Our position remains unchanged, that
our client was validly nominated by the APC and was duly elected
Governor by the good people of Sokoto State,” he told reporters after
the judgement.
In the June ruling by now retired
Justice Sulaiman Galadima, JSC, the Supreme Court held that PDP and Wali
lacked the locus standi to apply to be joined in the suit, describing
the two as interlopers who should not take part in a matter purely
involving another party.
Even though Sokoto PDP had announced
that they will not challenge the election of Tambuwal in 2015, they
however, through case number SC/67/2016, sought to be joined as parties
in Dahiru’s suit on the grounds that if it succeeds, Wali should be
declared winner of the election.
In a notice of motion for joinder filed
at the apex court by EK Ashiekaa, SAN, Wali and PDP contended that
having participated in the 2015 governorship election, and having scored
the next highest number of votes cast after that of Tambuwal, they have
sufficient grounds to be joined in the case.
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