A Kano High Court, on Monday, stroke out a suit filed by one Jaafar Sani-Bello, a gubernatorial aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, in the state, seeking to disqualify the party’s flag bearer, Abba Yusuf, for contesting in the forthcoming governorship election.
Recall that on October 2, Mr Yusuf, a son-in-law to former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, emerged winner of the PDP primaries after polling 2,421 votes to defeat his distant second, Mr Sani-Bello, who got 1,258 votes.
Dissatisfied by the outcome, Mr Sani-Bello dragged Mr Yusuf to Kano High Court 3, seeking to be declared the governorship candidate of the party as Mr Yusuf breached Section 8 (8) of the party constitution as amended.
The section requires that, anybody who defected from the party and seeks to re-join, shall write to ward secretary of his intention to re-join the party, which according to Mr Sani-Bello, his opponent did not do so.
However, delivering the judgment, the High Court’s judge, Ahmad Badamasi, said the case was filed out of the required 14 days after the primary election, as provided by section 285(9) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( as amended).
According to him, any election complaint, which is within the jurisdiction of a competent court of law, shall be filed within the required 14 days as provided by the constitution, as such it is declared as “status bar”.
“While it is evident that a political party is supreme in resolving election matters, a court may however interfere in order to ensure justice region in a society.
“In this case, a court can be called upon to entertain the case in order to ensure justice.
“According to section 285(9) of the amended constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999, any election matter should be filed in within 14 days of the election.
“This primary election conducted by the 3rd defendant (PDP) was conducted between October 1 and 2, in which the plaintiff, Jaafar Sani-Bello came second with 1,258 votes.
“However, looking at the scenario, the plaintiff filed the suit on October 16. By the determination of the case, the plaintiff thought they met the required 14 days as provided by the constitution, but according to this court, the case is hereby stroke out as they exceeded the required period to submit their application,” Mr Badamasi said.
After the judgement was passed, counsel to Mr Yusuf, Bashir Yusuf, sought for N1 million cost against the plaintiff for causing unnecessary delay, but the lawyer to the plaintiff, Abdul Adamu, prayed the court not to entertain the prayer.
The judge then ruled that all parties to bear the cost.
Speaking after the court session, lawyer to Mr Yusuf, expressed happiness for the judgement, commending the judge for doing the right thing.
He also argued that time has already run down for the plaintiff to re-file the matter.
In his remarks, Mr Sani-Bello said he would consult his associates to review the judgement for onward action.
He also restated his stance to continue to be bona-fide member of the opposition party in the state, promising to work assiduously towards its success in the forthcoming elections.
“I will remain in the PDP because it is the party I laboured for. I will remain its active member and work for its victory in the coming elections.
“It is the party I trust and believe in. I will then consult my associates on what to do over this judgement that has been passed in this honourable court,” he said.