Abba Yusuf, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the forthcoming 2019 governorship election in Kano State, will know his fate as court slated January 14 to pass judgement on his disputed candidature.
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, Jafar Sani-Bello, who got 1,258 votes.
Dissatisfied with 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 defects from the party and seeks to rejoin shall write to ward secretary of his intention to rejoin the party, which according to Mr Sani-Bello, his opponent did not do.
Appearing for the first time before Justice A.T. Badamasi on November 22, Mr Yusuf’s lawyer, Adegboyega Amomolo, SAN, moved an application for a motion to amended some processes before the court.
Mr Yusuf’s lawyer sought to amend the process on the premise that Mr Awomolo has taken charge as the new lead counsel.
But, counsel to Mr Sani-Bello moved to respond to the motion through an oral application as he was only served a day to the court sitting.
While calling on the court to disregard the application for lack of “competence”, Mr Fagge stated that there were plethora of authorities which supported his argument.
He said the Kano High Court Rules 2014 does not contemplate the issue of changing lead counsel, and so the request to amend the process on that basis does not arise.
The judge however ruled in favour of Mr Yusuf, granting his prayer to amend the process.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday the processes of the parties were adopted by the court.
Mr Awomolo argued that cause of action was lost when statute barred, noting that Mr Sani-Bello exceeded the time allowed by law to file his case.
According to him, the primaries took place on October 1, while Mr Sani-Bello filed his case on October 15, exceeding the time allowed by law by one day.
In response, Mr Fagge argued that his client is not challenging the validity or outcome of the primaries but Mr Yusuf’s failure to write to the ward secretary of the party about his intention to return to the party.
Mr Fagge said it came to his client’s notice that Mr Yusuf failed to meet the requirement of the law of the party two days after the conduct of the primaries, hence his institution of a case within the time required by law.
The court also noted that all Mr Yusuf’s documents, including his permanent voter’s card and party membership card, filed by to counter the plaintiff’s affidavit were not signed or authenticated by the court registrar.
After a heated argument that lasted for nearly four hours, Justice A.T. Badamasi adjourned the case till January 14 for judgement.