Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, a former Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar and others were dragged to Federal High Court, Abuja over alleged unlawful nominations for 2023 elections.
The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) which is the plaintiff, filed three separate suits through its lawyer, Mr Chris Udeoyibo.
The plaintiff is asking the court to disqualify the governor, Abubakar and Sen. Haliru Jika from participating in the 2023 governorship election in the state on grounds of alleged double nominations from their respective political parties.
In the suits marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1302/2022; FHC/ABJ/CS/1303/2022 and FHC/ABJ/CS/1304/2022, the plaintiff claims that Mohammed, Abubakar’s running mate, Shehu Musa and Jika (the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party – NNPP) violated the Electoral Act by allegedly engaging in double nomination.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1302, which has Mohammed, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as defendants, the plaintiff wants the court to void the candidacy of the former FCT minister, who is the governorship candidate of the PDP.
The plaintiff contends that having participated as a candidate in the May 28 presidential primary of the PDP and later as a candidate in the PDP’s governorship primary in Bauchi State on June 4, Mohammed violated of Section 177(c) of the Constitution as well as Sections 84(13) and 115(d) of the Electoral Act 2022.
Specifically, the PRP wants the court to among other things, restrain INEC from recognising Mohammed as a candidate of the PDP in the governorship elections.
It also wants the electoral umpire to bar him from further parading himself as the candidate of the PDP for the election.
In a supporting affidavit, the PRP governorship candidate in Bauchi State, Mr Ahmed Farouk asked the court to stop INEC from allowing the defendant participate in the election.
“Having participated in both primaries, during which he signed two nomination papers or result forms in respect of two different constituencies at the same time in breach of Section 177(c) of the Constitution as well as Sections 84(13) and 115(d) of the Electoral Act 2022, INEC should be restrained from allowing Mohammed and his party participate in the next governorship election in the state.
“No law allows a candidate, including Mohammed to sign two nomination papers or results forms for both presidential and governorship primaries, which are two constituencies, at the same time and in the same election period in the 2023 general elections.
“Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of relevant laws in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate for election shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue,” the plaintiff said.
While in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1303, the PRP wants the court to disqualify Abubakar and Musa as the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governorship election.
The PRP argued that Musa violated the constitution and Electoral Act by allegedly participating in the House of Representatives primary held by the APC on May 28 which he won and subsequently, in the governorship primary held on June 4 where he became nominated as the deputy governorship candidate.
Also in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1304, the PRP wants the court to among others, void the nomination of Jika, who currently represents Bauchi Central Senatorial District on the grounds that he was not a member of the NNPP when he was nominated as the party’s governorship candidate.
Jika was said to have participated in the May 26 governorship primary of the APC in Bauchi state which was won by Abubakar, but later defected to the NNPP to pick the governorship ticket.
The PRP stated, in a supporting affidavit that since Jika was a registered member of the APC in Kafin Madaki ward, Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State when the APC held its primary, his name could not have been in the register of NNPP.
The suits have however, not been assigned to any judge.