The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed March the 10th to deliver its ruling on the application proposing an amendment to the suit seeking the removal of Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal.
Umaru Dahiru and Abubakar Sanyinna had filed the motion for amendment seeking additional prayers of sacking Tambuwal as governor and replacing him with Dahiru.
The challengers who are chieftains of the All Progressive Congress in the state alleged that Tambuwal was illegally nominated by the APC to participate in the 2015 general election.
Tambuwal was present in court when the application was heard by Justice Gabriel Kolawole on Tuesday.
But opposing the ammendment on Tuesday, Tambuwal’s lawyer, Sunday Ameh (SAN), argued among others that the proposed amendment if allowed would change the character of the suit which the Supreme Court ordered to be re-heard.
Ameh also maintained that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the prayers sought to be included in the suit.
He argued that only the Election Petition Tribunal could make a pronouncement on sacking of a governor and ordering another person to be sworn in in his stead.
The plaintiffs, by their suit, are challenging Tambuwal’s victory in the April 11, 2015 election on the grounds that the APC’s primaries held in December 4, 2014 and from which Tambuwal emerged as the party’s flag bearer was conducted in violation of Section 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010 and the electoral guideline of the party.
The plaintiffs had alleged in their suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/11/2016, that among others, the Sokoto State Government officials and officials of the APC denied all aspirant except Tambuwal access to the delegates.
They also alleged that the screening of the delegates on the day of the primaries was not done between 8am and 12noon as stipulated by the guidelines of the APC.
They also faulted the primaries on the ground that the list of delegates issued by the national secretariat of the party in accordance with page 111 of its 2014 guidelines was not used in the conduct of the primaries of the December 4, 2014.
In setting aside the judgment of the appeal court and affirming that of the Federal High Court on December 9, 2016, the Supreme Court nullified the judgment of the Court of Appeal which was to the effect that the governorship election in Sokoto State having been conducted and won by Tambuwal, the plaintiffs’ pre-election suit had become a useless exercise.
Justice Dattijo Muhammad, who prepared the Supreme Court’s judgment, held that the Court of Appeal panel headed by Justice Abdul Aboki, in arriving at the decision, violated existing judicial precedents laid down by the appeal court itself and the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court held, “With such a visibly unpardonable refusal to be bound by the decision of this court on similar issue that called for the application of same fact or similar legislation, the negative perception the public has of the judicial process cannot be said to be without basis.
“The public is entitled, in the face of this brazen disobedience to the authority of the apex court, to conclude that the judiciary is compromised.”