February 8, 2023

Taraba South Senatorial Poll: Appeal Court affirms Jimkuta as APC candidate

Supplementary election

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

The Court of Appeal Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, declared Mr. David Jimkuta as the validly elected candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Taraba South Senatorial District election.

In a unanimous decision, a 3-man panel of the appellate court nullified the judgement of the Federal High Court in Jalingo, which dismissed a suit Jimkuta filed to challenge the substitution of his name with that of Hon. Danjuma Shiddi.

In the lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Hamman Barka, the appellate court held that the primary election that produced Jimkuta was valid, noting that it was conducted by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the APC.

It held that under the law, only the NWC of a political party has the requisite power and vires to conduct a primary election for the purpose of nominating a candidate for an election.

Consequently, the appellate court directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to forthwith, recognize Jimkuta as the authentic flag-bearer of the APC for the senatorial contest.

It will be recalled that though the Appellant won the APC primary election for Taraba South, he, however approached the court, alleging that the party wrongfully substituted his name with that of Hon. Shiddi.

He told the court that whereas he garnered 170 votes to emerge the winner of the primary poll, Hon. Shiddi, got only 80 votes.

The Appellant prayed the court to declare him the bonafide candidate of the APC for the election and equally compel the INEC to recognize his candidacy.

He also sought an order restraining Hon. Shiddi from further parading himself as the senatorial candidate of the party in Taraba South.

Though his case was dismissed by the trial court, it was however upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, reacting to the judgement on Wednesday, Jimkuta thanked the judiciary for restoring his mandate, saying it was “a victory for democracy, the people of Taraba South and the entire APC family”.

He urged his opponents to bury the hatchet and join hands with him to ensure victory for the party in the impending senatorial contest in Taraba South.