Court Surprisingly Strikes Out Suit Seeking To Remove Tambuwal
Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja has struck out suit filed by Senator Umaru Dahiru which sought to remove Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State on the ground that the primary elections which produced the defendant as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress was faulty and marred by irregularities.
The ruling took all those at the court by surprise because today’s sitting was for a ruling on an application to amend the originating summons which the court was mandated to seat over by the Supreme Court.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole struck out the suit after declaring that the original suit was not found in the file, adding that the applicant did not make them available.
At the last sitting of the court on February 28, counsel to Dahiru, Mr Ikoro I. Ikoro, argued and sought to amend the originating summon filed against Tambuwal, the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the April 11, 2015 governorship election.
In the amendment Dahiru prayed to court to remove Tambuwal from office and declare him as the winner of the December 2014 APC Primary Election.
He also asked the court for an order compelling INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the governor present it to him on the grounds that he was the lawfully elected candidate of the APC at the primary election.
However, in his objection to the application, Counsel to APC, Mr Jubrin Okutepa (SAN), asked the court to dismiss the request for the amendment. He said his objection was on grounds that it is not in compliance with the Supreme Court Judgment of Dec. 9, 2016, which ordered a retrial of the plaintiff’s case.
Okutepa argued that the applicant (Dahiru) had changed the character and direction of his earlier originating summon. He also said that the applicant sought to amend the originating summon because of his sudden discovery that event had overtaken the initial originating summon.
The counsel added that any attempt to allow the amendment will amount to an affront to the Supreme Court Judgment of December last year.
Okutepa further argued that the applicant was not consistent in the reliefs been sought in the proposed amendment as in the originating summon, the applicant had asked the court to nullify the APC primary election.
He said this was on grounds that it was unlawfully conducted and that the same applicant cannot seek to be declared winner of the said unlawfully conducted primary election. The counsel therefore urged the court to refuse the amendment and allow hearing in the initial originating summon as directed by the Supreme Court.
Counsel to Tambuwal Sunday Ameh (SAN) aligned himself with the submission of the APC and urged the court to hold that the amendment been sought by the governorship aspirant is unmeritorious.
The counsel insisted that it is too late in the day for the applicant to seek the relief after the governorship election had been conducted, adding that the proper place for the applicant to ventilate his anger is the election petition tribunal.
Ameh also submitted that the applicant cannot even go to any election petition tribunal because the 21 day required by law under which a petition can be filed to challenge the election of any declared winner had lapsed since 2015.
He also prayed the court to refuse the temptation of turning itself to an election petition tribunal as there is no law for such an action.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole after taking arguments from both parties fixed March 10 to give ruling on whether to allow or refuse the proposed amendment sought by the former governorship aspirant.
In his ruling Friday, the judge said the amendment being sought could not stand because the court was not in possession of the original case file.
He therefore struck it out accordingly.