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A fresh legal battle seeking to remove Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from office as Governor of Sokoto State began yesterday at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The plaintiff in the matter Senator Umaru Dahiru is seeking the federal High court order to nullify the return of Tambuwal as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives (APC) for the 2015 governorship election in Sokoto.
Dahiru, an aggrieved governorship aspirant in the December 4 2014 APC governorship primary election in the state also applied to the court for an order directing the APC to declare him as the winner of the primary poll as the person entitled to be sworn-in as the governor of Sokoto State.
In the fresh court action, the plaintiff hinged his case on the ground that the December 4, 2014 APC primary was conducted in gross violation of section 87 of the 2010 Electoral Act and the APC 2014 election guidelines.
He also sought court declaration that it is unlawful for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to act on a candidate nominated by the APC for the purpose of the general election in Sokoto when such a candidate was elected in violation of the electoral guidelines established by the APC itself.
Dahiru also asked the court to declare that in the circumstances of the primary election, it is he and not Tambuwal that is entitled to be returned as the governorship candidate of the APC for the governorship election conducted on April 11, 2015.
During yesterday’s proceedings, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Ikoro Ikoro, informed Justice Gabriel Kolawole that he had filed a motion on January 31, to amend the reliefs being sought in the originating summons.
The counsel said that he wanted some of the reliefs to be deleted from the originating summons having been overtaken by events.
However, counsel for the APC, Mr. Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) and that of the second defendant, Mr. Sunday Ameh (SAN), claimed that they have filed counter motions and served same on the plaintiff to object to his attempt to amend the originating summons.
Ikoro who confirmed receipt of the counter-affidavit said that he needed a short adjournment to enable him respond to the counter affidavit.
Subsequently, Justice Kolawole adjourned the matter till February 28 for the determination of the plaintiff’s motion.
The Supreme Court had last year remitted the case file back to the Federal High Court for a fresh trial on the ground that there is life in the case in spite of the conduct of the governorship election that produced Tambuwal.
The apex court had disagreed with Tambuwal in his claim that the case of the plaintiff challenging his nomination by APC had become academic and hypothetical while the Supreme Court also ordered an accelerated hearing at the high court level of the suit.
Dahiru, a former member of the Senate, and Barrister Aliyu Abubakar Sanyinna, are seeking Tambuwal’s removal from office on the basis that the governor was wrongly nominated by APC as the governorship candidate of the party in the election which held on April 11, 2015.
The December 9, 2016 decision of the apex court nullified the earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, delivered on December 21, 2015, which had held that the Federal High Court in Abuja lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit filed by Dahiru and Sanyinna.