2019 election: Court dismisses case against Kano PDP governorship candidate over primaries

A Kano High Court, on Monday dismissed a suit filed by Mr Jaafar Sani-Bello, a governorship  aspirant of the PDP in Kano State, seeking to disqualify the party’s flag bearer, Abba Kabir-Yusuf from contesting the forthcoming election.

NAN reports that Kabir-Yusuf, son in-law to former Gov. Rabiu Kwankwaso, emerged winner of the PDP primaries after scoring 2,421 votes to defeat Sani-Bello, who secured 1,258 votes.

Unsatisfied with the results of the primary, Sani-Bello dragged the party’s flag bearer to court and sought for his disqualification for allegedly breaching section 8 (8) of the party’s 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 Sani-Bello, his opponent did not do so.

However, delivering the judgment, the presiding 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 constitution as amended.

He said any election complaint, which was 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 was 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 reign in the society.

“In this case, a court can be called upon to entertain the case in order to ensure justice and fairness.

“According to section 285 (9) of the amended constitution, 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 October 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, using the October 2. By the determination of the case, the plaintiff thought he met the required 14 days as provided by the constitution.

“But according to this court, the case is hereby strike out as they exceeded the required period to submit their application,” Badamasi said

After the judgement, counsel to Kabir-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 their costs.

Shortly after the judgement, counsel to Kabir-Yusuf, expressed happiness over the judgment and commended the judge for doing the right thing.

Sani-Bello said he would consult his lawyers to review the judgment for next line of action.

“I will consult my lawyers on what to do over this judgment that has just been passed in this honourable Court, “ Sani-Bello said.

He promised to remain in the party PDP and continue to work for its success in the forthcoming general elections in the state .

“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. (NAN)