By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, fixed February 28 to commence hearing on a suit seeking to sack Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State from office.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole Okayed the matter for hearing on a day Tambuwal, through his lawyer, Mr. S. I. Ameh, SAN, queried the competence of the suit, which was lodged by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, Senator Umaru Dahiru. Dahiru was a governorship aspirant of the APC during the 2015 general elections.
He was however denied the governorship ticket by APC, which instead chose Tambuwal, who just defected to the party from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Dissatisfied with action of the party, Dahiru went to court to challenge what he termed “fraudulent” process that led to Tambuwal’s emergence as governorship flag-bearer of the APC in Sokoto State.
He contended that the primary election APC conducted in 2014 in Sokoto was fraudulent because the original list of the delegates for the election was swapped in favour of Tambuwal by some external forces. Meanwhile, Tambuwal’s effort to abort hearing on the matter was stopped by the Supreme Court which in a judgment it delivered on December 9, 2016, ordered the high court to look into the suit on its merit.
The apex court vacated an initial judgment by the Court of Appeal which dismissed the suit on the premise that it had turned to an academic exercise.
In a unanimous verdict by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Rhodes Bode-Vivour, the Supreme Court held that Dahiru has the locus-standi to challenge Tambuwal’s nomination by the APC since he also participated in the process.