Tambuwal Fails To Stop Dahiru’s Court Process Against Primary Election


BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA -Attempt by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State to get a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja to reject court processes filed against his nomination by the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the 2015 Governorship election, has been rejected and dismissed.
The processes filed by one of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the APC ahead of the 2015 general elections, Senator Umaru Dahiru were accepted by Justice Gabriel Kolawole as being competent and properly filed to challenge the nomination of the governor for the 2015 election.
APC Counsel, Jibrin Okutepa SAN, and Sundy Ibrahim Ameh (SAN) opposed the originating summon and the affidavit filed by Dahiru to challenge the propriety of the 2015 APC Sokoto Governorship primary election on the ground that the election was fraught with fraud, breach of the Electoral Act and APC’s guidelines as well as marred with violence.
The APC and Tambuwal’s Lawyers contended that a new Counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Roland Otaro was not properly changed to replace Professor Awa Kalu SAN, who they said was the Counsel for the plaintiff on record.
They insisted that for the two plaintiffs to properly change their lawyer, the leave of the court must first be obtained and secured in line with the provisions of the Federal High Court Practice Direction and therefore urged the court to reject all the process filed by Otaru on the ground that they are incompetent and unlawful for the court to adjudicate upon.
 But, Otaru in his submission told the court that he announced his appearance as holding the brief of Awa Kalu, adding that his coming to the case was misconstrued as a change of lawyer by the Counsels to the APC and Governor Tambuwal.
Otaru therefore urged the trial judge to reject the objection of Tambuwal and APC on the ground that the objection was baseless, not competent, frivolous and vexatious.
He further said that the objection raised against his appearance in the matter and the processes he filed are part of deliberate plan by Tambuwal and APC to delay the hearing of the case, stressing that lawyers from Awa Kalu Chambers are with him and there has been no objection to his appearance from Kalu’s chamber.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Kolawole said the Supreme Court had in December 2016 directed that the case be giving accelerated hearing in the interest of Justice to both parties and held that since the originating summon filed by the two plaintiffs have not being heard, they did not need any leave of the court to file further process and therefore all process filed in relation to the suit are properly and legally filed as required by law.
Justice Kolawole agreed with Otaru that he was holding the brief of Awa Kalu hence the objection of Tambuwal and APC lacked merit and are baseless as the legal representation of the plaintiffs has not been changed, adding that it would be against the interest of justice to reject the processes including further affidavit filed by the two plaintiffs against Tambuwal since the process are properly filed and that the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have already replied to the originating summon and the further affidavit while only Tambuwal choose not to file written address.
The Judge therefore ordered Tambuwal to file his written address within 14 days so as to properly join issues with the two plaintiffs who are challenging the legality of the primary election that produced him as governorship candidate of APC.
Kolawole said he is bound by the directive of the Supreme Court that the case must be heard expeditiously so as not to render the case of the two plaintiffs a mere academic exercise and therefore ordered the plaintiffs to file their reaction on point of law to the written address of Tambuwal within 7 days of being served.
Further hearing of the suit has been fixed for May 23, 2017.

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