Sadiq Wali, the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kano state, has vowed to go to Appeal Court after he was sacked by a Federal High Court in the state.
The Federal High Court declared Mohammed Sani Abacha, son of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, as the duly elected gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Kano on Thursday.
The judgment, delivered by the Presiding Judge, Justice A.M Liman, was made via zoom, where he ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to expunge Wali’s name and substitute it with Abacha’s.
The court then recognized the primary election, held at Lugard House by Shehu Wada Sagagi ‘s faction, which produced Abacha over the one conducted by Wali’s side at Sani Abacha Youth Centre
Dissatisfied with the judgement, Wali, son of former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali, said he would reclaim his mandate at Appeal Court.
Speaking to journalists in Kano on Thursday evening, Wali called on PDP supporters to remain calm, saying that his lawyers are studying the “error-laden judgement” in preparation for appeal.
According to Wali, his lawyers had already discovered several errors on the judgement, which would give him a firm ground to reclaim what he described as “mandate of Kano people” at the Appeal Court.
Wali recalled that a PDP governorship aspirant, Ja’afar Sani Bello, had dragged him to court to challenge his candidature but won at the Appeal Court.
He expressed optimism that “we will win at Appeal Court God willing. We will be victorious and emerge winners of the 2023 elections by God’s grace.
“This judgement is riddle with errors but because i am not a legal practitioner, i can not say much on this, but my lawyers will speak about it,” Wali said.
On his part, Wali’s lawyer, Nasir Adamu Aliyu (SAN) said they had recorded more than twenty grounds for defense at Appeal Court.
According to Aliyu, Wali won at Appeal Court when Ja’afar Sani Bello filed a suit challenging his primary election after it was duly conducted and supervised by the national body of PDP.
“We won at Appeal Court on the ground that any primary election, conducted by state chapter of the party, not national body, is null and void. Again, we were not party to the Ja’af toar’s suit, but the high court insisted that we must join the suit. Eventually, we won at Appeal Court.
“The Appeal Court rules that they do not have ground to file suit against Sadiq Wali because the primary election they conducted was not organized and supervised by the national body of the party. It was supervised by the state chapter and as such, it is illegal” Aliyu, SAN, explained.
He added that they would be served with the copy of the Thursday judgement in preparation for the appeal.
He said another error made by the judge was that the notice of primary election was served to national body of INEC, not state headquarters.
Against this backdrop, Aliyu explained that section 82 of the Electoral Act 2022 says notice of primary election should be served to national headquarters of INEC, not state, in not less than 21 days.
“We served the notice before the deadline, but the judge declared the primary election illegal because the national body of PDP served headquarters of INEC not state headquarters. This is a big mistake. The PDP was on course to have served INEC national headquarters,” he explained.
The lawyer therefore disclosed that Wali had given him the nod to file appeal today (Friday).
We saw it coming- Dambatta
Also speaking, Deputy Gubernatorial Candidate of PDP in Kano, Dr Yusuf Bello Dambatta said the party had predicted the judgement even before it was delivered.
According to him, the Wali faction was unfazed about the judgement because it has substantive grounds to challenge the decision at Appeal Court.
He expressed optimism that they would not rest on their ores until they reclaimed their mandate at Appeal Court and win the election to serve the people of the state.
Dambatta then appealed to the teeming supporters of PDP in the state to remain calm, adding that the judgement would not stop the party from continuing with its activities.
He added that they are preparing grounds to challenge the judgement, expressing hope that they would succeed at the Appeal Court.
Abacha, had via originating summon, approached the court, praying it to declare him the winner of the Party Primary Election conducted on 25th May 2022.
He also prayed the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), its officers, agents and privies from further recognising Sadiq Aminu Wali or any other person apart from parading himself as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Kano State for 2023 Governorship Elections.
Justice Liman however granted all the relief suits of Abacha on the ground that he was validly nominated during the primary conducted by the Wada Sagagi-led factional Chairman of the party, adding that votes cast for him remained lawful.
The Judge faulted INEC for removing Abacha’s name from the gubernatorial candidate list in the first place, declaring that by the tenure of the provisions of section 84 (1)(5)b of the electoral Act 2022, it is illegal, null and void for the electoral umpire to have withheld the name of Abacha who won the primary election and substitute him with Wali.