Judiciary

Supreme Court Affirms Jigawa Deputy Governor’s Nomination As APC Governorship Candidate

The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed an appeal challenging the emergence of Umar Namadi as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Jigawa State for the 2023 elections.

Mr Namadi is the deputy governor of Jigawa State.

A former member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Aliyu, challenged the APC primary election held on 26 May which produced Mr Namadi as the party’s governorship flagbearer for the 11 March poll.

Delivering its judgement on Friday, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court said Mr Aliyu’s appeal “lacked merit.”

“The appellant (Mr Aliyu) failed to prove the declarative reliefs he sought. This appeal lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed,” Ibrahim Saulawa who read the lead judgement by Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, said.

The apex court struck out Mr Namadi’s cross-appeal on the grounds that the main appeal had been dismissed.

Background
In the appeal filed, Mr Aliyu challenged the 4 November 2022 decision of the Court of Appeal in Kano, which dismissed his earlier appeal.

The appellate court in Kano had upheld Mr Namadi’s nomination as the governorship candidate of the APC in Jigawa State for the 11 March governorship poll.

A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Ita Mbaba, in the 4 November verdict, unanimously dismissed Mr Aliyu’s appeal against the 13 September 2022 judgement by Hassan Dikko of the Federal High Court, Dutse, Jigawa State, for being unmeritorious.

The judge at the trial court held that Mr Aliyu lacked the right to have sued the governorship candidate, adding that he failed to prove his case with credible evidence.

Meanwhile, Mr Namadi challenged a portion of the Court of Appeal judgement upturning the trial court’s decision that Mr Aliyu lacked the right to have filed the suit which did not qualify as a pre-election case.

In arguing the appeal on Thursday, Mr Namadi’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, urged the Supreme Court to dismiss Mr Aliyu’s suit and allow his client’s cross-appeal.

Mr Fagbemi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) contended that the appellate court erred when it exercised jurisdiction over Mr Aliyu’s appeal, which arose “from an action improperly constituted.”

However, Aliyu’s lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu, a SAN, prayed to the apex court to allow his client’s appeal.
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