Court of Appeal Nullifies Election of Murtala Nyako as PDP Governorship Candidate
The primary election which produced Rear Admiral Murtala Nyako (Rtd) as the governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party in Adamawa state has been nullified by the Court of Appeal sitting in Yola, Adamawa state, thereby effectively nullifying the election of the governor.
The court ruled that Governor Murtala Nyako was not duly nominated as stipulated by the provisions of the Electoral Act, the PDP Constitution and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Delivering Judgement on the matter, Justice Ignatius Igwe said the evidence before the court proved that the fundamental human rights of Dr. Umar Ardo, who showed interest to participate in the primary election, were trampled upon by denying his supporters nomination forms to participate as delegates.
He accused the second defendant (PDP) of criminal discrimination against Ardo, noted that the Adamawa PDP primary election of which Nyako was declared winner, lacks legal ingredients and that it was an invalid exercise that has no legal taste or fragrance.
The judge said his court was constrained by Section 31 sub-Section (1) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, to order for a fresh primary election.
On the issue of court jurisdiction concerning the party’s activities, Justice S. Denton-West held that Section 87, sub-section (4) empowers Federal High Court, state High Court and the FCT High Court to preside over such complaints brought before them.
Denton-West, who appealed to politicians to embrace peaceful resolution of party issues, pointed out that peace is the only pillar of democracy.
In his reaction, Ardo, who said he would challenge the judgment at the Supreme Court, pointed out that of the five prayers he sought at the Appeal Court, he won four. He said the ruling was based on language technicality and not law.
“One of the exhibits my counsel tendered before the court was my election result, which shows that I was scored zero. The result was signed by the chairman of the primary election, so, how can the court say that I was not part of the primary election?” he stated.
Counsel to Nyako, Kanu Agabi (SAN), who was represented by Ayo Akam, commended the judges for the ruling, saying it was a judgment for democracy.
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