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Published On: Fri, Feb 28th, 2020

Court annuls PDP guber primary election in Kogi

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From Ahmad Ibrahim, Lokoja

A Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja has nullified the governorship primaries conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which produced Engr. Musa Wada as the standard bearer of the party.
Engr. Wada, who was the candidate of the PDP in the November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election in Kogi State, is currently at the tribunal, challenging the victory and return of Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as winner, after coming second in the process.
But delivering judgement on the preelection matter filed by Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Idris, challenging the emergence of Engr. Musa Wada as standard bearer of PDP, the presiding judge, Justice John Olorunfemi, held that they never had a candidate in the November 16, 2019 governorship poll.
He pointed out that the claimant who averred that he would have won the primary conducted by the 1st defendant if the missing votes which belonged to him were added to his votes, could not convinced the court to deliver judgement in his favour.
Similarly, Justice Olorunfemi further submitted that the second defendant could not convinced the court that he actually won the party primary, which was marred with rancour and acrimony, arising from pandemonium, due to sporadic gunshots, that compelled the participants to scamper for safety.
He further averred that neither the claimant nor the second defendant could lay claim to the process that was never envisaged by electoral guidelines, holding that the two contestants have not shown any credible evidence to prove that they won an election that was not only inconclusive but lacked credibility.
According to the presiding judge, the security breach arising from the primary conducted by the first defendant, resulted into fear and anger, which subsequently led to the relocation of the venue of the process, from the Confluence Stadium, to somewhere opposite Rock and Garden School.
He held that the process which was hasty and acrimonious lacked democratic ethos, and must not be encouraged, insisting that claimant could not be entitled to the relief being sought, as no one could lay claim to victory.
The presiding judge subsequently held that nobody won the primary, insisting that “there is no Abubakar Ibrahim Idris, no Musa Wada and no victor, no vanquished”.
While dismissing the suit for lacking in merit, Justice John Olorunfemi stressed the need for the political parties to always allow democratic ethos to guide them in their activities, saying hasty and acrimonious process must be discouraged.

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