Niger East Senatorial seat: Court Sacks Umar, declares Musa winner

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has declared Alhaji Mohammed Musa as the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate for the Niger East Senatorial district for the forthcoming election.

Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo in her judgment agreed that Musa was the declared winner of a primary election the APC conducted in the Senatorial District on October 2, 2018.

Consequently, the court granted an order setting aside the nomination and/or submission of the name of Senator David Umar by the APC to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the candidate to represent the party for the office of Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District at the general elections slated for 2019.

Speaking after his victory, Musa, who described the judgment as victory for democracy and the people of Niger State, called on his political rival, Senator David Umar, to join hands with him to move the state forward.

“It is victory for the party (APC), victory for democracy and the good people of Niger State. I call on my supporters and party members and my brother Senator David Umar to join me in unity so that we can move the party and the people of the State forward.”

The court further declared that the Plaintiff, having secured the highest number of votes at the primary election conducted by the 1st Defendant, and monitored by the 2nd Defendant on 2nd October, 2018, to nominate a candidate to represent the 1st Defendant for the office of Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, at the general elections scheduled for 2019.

Musa had in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1210/2018 challenged the powers of the APC to allegedly handpick Senator David Umar to replace him as its candidate in Niger East Senatorial District.

He listed the All Progressive Congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission and Senator David Umar as defendants.

Justice Folashade who granted all the reliefs in the suit filed by Wole Olanikpekun (SAN) on behalf of the Umar.

The court declared that the 1st Defendant (APC) lacks the power and the vires to nominate, sponsor or forward to the 2nd Defendant, the name of any candidate for election in the platform of the 1st Defendant to the office of the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, at the 2019 general elections, other than as mandatorily provided by the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), as well as the Constitution and Guidelines of the 1st Defendant.

“Instead of forwarding the name of the applicant to the 2nd respondent as the candidate of the 1st respondent as mandated by the law, 1st Defendant has purportedly forwarded the name of the 3rd Defendant to the 2nd Defendant.

“The Applicant, apart from securing the highest number of votes at the primary election of the 1st Defendant on 2nd October, 2018, by a very wide margin, is also the popular candidate accepted by the electorate of the Niger East Senatorial District.”

The court also declared that the APC (1st Defendant) does not possess the vires, power or authority to forward to the 2nd defendant any other name (particularly, that of the 3rd Defendant) than the name of the Plaintiff who secured the highest number of votes in the primary election organised by the 1st Defendant, and supervised by the 2nd Defendant on 2nd October, 2018, to contest on the platform of the 1st Defendant for the office of Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, at the general elections scheduled for 2019.

A declaration that the submission by the 1st Defendant to the 2nd defendant, of the name of the 3rd Defendant, to contest election in the platform of the 1st defendant to the office of Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, at the general elections slated for 2019, is unconstitutional, illegal, ultra vires, oppressive, undemocratic, arbitrary, null and void, and of no effect.

The Plaintiff argued that under section 87(4) (c) (II) of the Electoral Act, the 1st Defendant (APC), is mandated to forward his name as its candidate for the 2019 Senatorial election in Niger East.

Among other reliefs, the Plaintiff, had prayed the court to determine whether “considering the combined provisions of sections 221,222, paragraph 15(c) of the Third Schedule, as well as other relevant provisions to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); Articles 7(viii) (ix), and 20 of the Constitution of the APC; and Paragraph II of the 2014 Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for Public Offices of the APC, whether the 1st Defendant can or has the right or latitude to nominate or sponsor any candidate, or forward to the 2nd Defendant, the name of any candidate for election to the National Assembly (Senate), other than as mandatorily provided by the combined effect of the aforestated provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, the constitution and guidelines of the 1st Defendant.

“Whether the 1st Defendant can or has the power to substitute or change the name of the Plaintiff, who in conformity with the afore-stated provisions of the relevant laws and Guidelines, secured the highest number of votes at the primary election conducted by the 1st Defendant on 2nd October, 2018, to nominate a candidate for the office of Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, with that of the 3rd Defendant, who did not score the highest number of votes at the said primary election.”

The post Niger East Senatorial seat: Court Sacks Umar, declares Musa winner appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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