By Lateef Taiwo
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, struck out a case instituted before it by the the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its Governorship Candidate, Muhammed Jibrin Barde against Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, INEC and two (2) others.
The court, in a ruling delivered by Justice Binta Nyako, dismissed the allegation that the governor submitted forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in aid of his qualification.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022, was brought before the court by PDP, Mohammed Jibrin Barde and Timothy Danlele.
Cited as 1st to 3rd defendants in the matter were the INEC, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and governor Inuwa Yahaya, respectively.
Specifically, the plaintiffs, through their lawyer, Mr. Johnson Usman, SAN, alleged that the governor lied on oath in documents he presented before the INEC.
However, both the APC and governor Inuwa Yahaya, through their lawyer, Mr. Marshall Abubakar, challenged the allegation and the competence of the suit, even as they urged the court to dismiss it for want of jurisdiction.
The defendants argued that PDP and its members lacked the locus standi (legal right) to institute an action to challenge the nomination of candidate by another political party.
According to the defendants, only members of a party and its aspirants can challenge the outcome of a primary election or the nomination of a candidate.
They argued that the plaintiffs failed to establish any reasonable cause of action, stressing that the suit had become statute barred since it was instituted after INEC published governor Inuwa Yahaya’s name as a candidate for the election.
In her ruling, Justice Nyako upheld the defendants’ preliminary objection and struck out the suit for want of competence.