By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Judgment of Hon Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja on October 31, 2022 against Senator Grace Bent, Senator Abubakar Ahmad Moallayidi, Dr Bridget Ziddon and Alhaji Sani Jada (Plaintiffs) over the conduct of Adamawa Southern Senatorial District Primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in favour of Engr Adamu Ismaila Numan (defendant) has been appealed by the plaintiffs.
It would be recalled that Justice Emeka in his ruling, said the plaintiffs challenged whether the primary election conducted by the 1st Defendant (APC) on 28th and 29th May 2022 wherein vote-buying, fraudulent accreditation of delegates and violence by the 1st Defendant were allowed by the 1st Defendant was conducted in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, the Constitution of the last Defendant and the Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the 2023 General Elections issued by the 1st Defendant? Having suspended the holding of the primary election.
The High Court Judge in his ruling also said, having regard to the provisions Of Electoral Act 2022, Article 20 (iv) Constitution and Clause 18 of Guidelines for the Nomination of Elections imposing an obligation conduct primary election for the of Section 84(2)and (B) of the All Progressives Congress Candidates for the 2023 General elections on political parties in Nigeria to nomination of its candidates for the general election, whether the primary election conducted by the 1st Defendant on 28th and 29th May 2022 wherein the Plaintiffs were aspirants along with the 2nd Defendant, was conducted in compliance with the provisions of the Act, the Constitution and the Guidelines of the political party?
Justice Emeka ruled that, “I am of the considered view and I so hold, that the alleged disenfranchised registered voters have no capacity or numeric strength to influence the outcome of the said primary election conducted on the 29th May, 2022 so hold.
“On the whole, this case lacks merit and it is accordingly dismissed.” He ruled.
The decision of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, sitting at Abuja contained in the judgment of Hon. Justice Emeka Nwite delivered on the 31st day of October 2022, made Grace Bent, Senator Abubakar Ahmad Moallayidi, Dr. Briget Ziddon to approach Court of Appeal to seek for redress.
“The Appellants being dissatisfied with the judgment, hereby appealed to the Court of Appeal upon the grounds set out in their submission in paragraph 3 and shall at the hearing of the appeal, seek the reliefs set out in paragraph 4 of this notice.”
Where it stated that, “The learned trial Judge erred in law in failing to nullify the Adamawa South Senatorial primary Election of the 1st Respondent held on 25th May 2022, having found as a fact that there was non-compliance with the 1st Respondents Guidelines during the conduct of the said primary election.
“The learned trial judge erred in law in holding that the 1st Respondent’s failure to comply with its timelines for accreditation and voting in its Guidelines, was not a ground to nullify the primary election as there was no miscarriage of justice against the Appellants nor did the failure to obey the said provisions of the Guidelines impact on the outcome of the primary election.”