Niger APC primaries: I’ve appealed my sack – Sen. Umaru

By Cecilia Ijuo

#TrackNigeria: Sen. David Umaru (APC-Niger) says he has appealed the court judgment that sacked him as senatorial candidate for All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger East Senatorial District.

He made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on Thursday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept the plaintiff, Mohammed Musa as the authentic candidate for the party.

Justice Giwa Ogunbanjo had in his judgment, said Musa won the APC’s primary election held on Oct. 2, 2018 and not Sen. David Umaru.

Justice Ogunbanjo upheld the argument of the plaintiff’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and granted all the reliefs sought.

Sen. Umaru, who is the current Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, said he had filed Notice of Appeal and Stay of Execution against the judgment.

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He assured that the judgment would be in his favour, adding that, “the law is trite and there is a plethora of Supreme Court decisions affirming the finality of the decisions of political parties regarding nomination of candidates.

“The Court has no power to nominate a candidate for a political party. The party is supreme and has the final say or decision.

“It is not the responsibility of the court to determine who should be the candidate of a political party in elections.

“Another fundamental reason why I am challenging the decision of the learned trial Judge is that the trial court proceeded to hear and determine the matter without jurisdiction as the suit was filed in breach of the provisions of section 285 (9) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

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“I know that many of you who have followed the primaries that produced me as the candidate of the APC for the Niger East Senatorial district election will be shocked by the ruling of the court.

“This is more so since the evidence led by the party indicates that I was the candidate that was duly screened and cleared to contest the October 2018 party primaries for my senatorial zone.”

The lawmaker assured his supporters to keep faith, saying the present judgment had not truncate his candidature.

He urged his supporters to continue with their campaign activities and to remain steadfast.

He said he remained the bona fide candidate of APC in the forthcoming senatorial election in Niger East pending the position of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court on the matter.

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“Those who are conversant with my political antecedents will know that I am not a stranger to court battles as my entire political career has been shaped by court decisions.

“On several occasions in my political career I relied on the courts for justice.

“I do believe that the decision of trial court which gave judgment to the plaintiff, was based on erroneous understanding of the law and facts placed before the court.

“As a law abiding citizen, I wish to sue for peace and urge all my supporters and well wishers to remain calm and come out massively and vote for me come Saturday, because there is light at the end of this tunnel.”(NAN)

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