Court nullifies Kano PDP senatorial nominee’s election

A judge in the Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja, on Thursday, scheduled a hearing on a petition filed by Mr Jimi Lawal, a candidate for governor who lost the Ogun Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary poll on May 25.

Abubakar Nuhu Danburam’s election as the People’s Democratic Party’s nominee for the senate seat representing Kano central was overturned by the Appeal Court, Kano division.

The primary election results that nominated Hajiya Laila Buhari as the PDP’s senatorial candidate for Kano central, as announced by factional Chairman of PDP Shehu Wada Sagagi, were confirmed by the appellate court.

To run against the female candidate from the opposing faction, the PDP in Kano favoured Danburam, a devoted member of the Aminu Wali faction of the PDP.

Buhari has contested the Independent National Electoral Commission’s nomination and subsequent recognition of Danburam, a former member representing the Kano Municipal federal constituency in the House of Representatives.

The action brought by Buhari had previously been dismissed by the Federal High Court in Kano for lack of jurisdiction because it had been brought there rather than in Abuja, as is the National Judicial Council (NJC) policy concerning problems arising in the run-up to elections.

Buhari, dissatisfied with the verdict, appealed to a higher court to attempt to have Danburam’s election as the PDP’s candidate for Kano central’s senate seat nullified and the results of the parallel primary upheld.

The Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s dismissal of the case, citing the trial judge’s error in doing so in the opinion of Justice Ita Mbaba.

The judgement states that the NJC policy does not supersede the Federal High Court Rules and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999, as amended) in a pre-election action since the court heard the substantive case on its merit as it was brought by way of originating summons.

Buhari’s request was granted partly because the appeal court directed INEC to immediately replace Damburam’s name with that of the defendant Laila Buhari as the legitimate PDP candidate for the Kano central senatorial district.

Danburam’s attorney, A L Yusuf, was also unhappy with the appeals court’s decision.

He said his client would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.