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S’Court dismisses appeal against Wammako

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Abuja
The Supreme Court yesterday slammed the gubernatorial candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, in the 2007 elections in Sokoto state, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, over what it described as a deliberate attempt by the appellant to create judicial anarchy in his bid to sack the incumbent governor, Aliyu Wamakko, from office.

The apex court also dismissed an interlocutory appeal filed before it by Dingyadi, even as it made a consequential order forbidding the Sokoto state division of the appeal court from making any pronouncement on the case, stressing that the appellant, Dingyadi, grossly violated the judicial process by going before two separate courts to seek similar relief on the same subject matter.

Gov. Wamako of Sokoto State with his Deputy, (left)Muktar Shagari at the Governors Lodge in Asokoro shortly after the Supreme Court Judgment in Abuja on Friday. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

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A 5-man panel of the apex court in a judgment delivered yesterday, dismissed Appeal No CA/S/ EP/ GOV/10/2009, filed by Dingyadi, on the premise that it amounted to an abuse of court process for the appellant to drag same parties to appellate courts in Kaduna and Sokoto states, over the same 14th April 2007 re-run election that  held in that state.

The court in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Christopher Chukwuma Eneh, maintained that having violated court processes, that the suit by the appellant should “naturally be vacated because the two appeal CA/ A/ 276/2008 and CA/S/EP/GOV/2009 are predicated on the same subject matter, implying without deciding the same that appeal No. CA/S/ EP/ GOV/ 10/ 2009, can not come within the ambits of the substantive jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal as an election petition as envisaged under section 246[1] [b] and [i] and [ii] of the 1999 constitution, for lack of locus-standi by the appellants, so that section 246 [3] of the constitution is inapplicable”.

The apex court further held that it granted the consequential order so as to achieve a just, equitable and expeditious dispensation of the case  before it, adding that it did so since the appellant have “indulged in vexatious act of multiplicity of actions and forum- shopping.”

The apex court equally upheld a previous ruling it gave on 4th June 2010, dismissing the appeal, adding that the appellant has effectively withdrawn the matter despite the objections raised against it by governor Wamakko. “I hold that the appellants have withdrawn the appeal here in compliance with Rule 6 [1] of the court rules” Justice Eneh added.

The other justices in the panel who equally affirmed the judgment yesterday were Justice Mrs. Adekeye, Suleiman Galadima, Bode Rhodes Vivour and Fabiyi JJSC.

Meanwhile, Governor Wamakko yesterday carpeted the opposition party in Sokoto state for allegedly adopting uncanny legal methods in a frantic move to oust him from the government house at all cost, boasting that he was capable of wining the DPP candidate at any time of the day.

“I won him the first time with a big margin, I won him second time with a big margin, and even if the election is organized in Sokoto state today, I will still beat him hands-down again.

“It is not about me and him, but what the people want and who their choice is, they know who is who, I have continued to fulfill my promises to them and I will never fail them no matter how many cases our distractors file in court” he boasted.

In the same vein, the secretary of the PDP in Sokoto state, Aminu Bello who yesterday maintained that Wamakko was the most popular candidate in the state, added that the PDP was poised to reclaim the government house in 2011.

Dingyadi had in a substantive appeal be filed ab-initio, relied on the provisions of Section 189-91 of the electoral Act 2006, to insist that Wamakko was not a bona-fide member of the Peoples Democratic Party in sokoto state when the election was held in 2007, contending that it was illegal for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to allow a candidate that he said was not up to 60 days old in the PDP to participate in the said election.

He had gone before the Supreme Court after the appellate court in sokoto state barred him from amending his substantive appeal against Gov Wammako.

Realizing the implication of seeking same relief from different courts, he quickly approached the Supreme Court again to withdraw his subsisting suit before it, a move that was vehemently resisted by all the respondents in the case.

Governor Wamakko who argued through his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, specifically requested the apex court to go ahead and make a consequential order dismissing the pending sister appeal in Sokoto state, stressing that it constituted an abuse of court process.

He contended that Dingyadi could not have properly withdrawn the interlocutory appeal before the apex court, insisting that issues had already been joined in the case.


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