The legal team of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno State has declared that as far as they know, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no senatorial candidate for Borno Central.
In the course of the week, two High Court judgments have given position on the candidature of Hon. Mohammed Kumalia, the candidate of PDP for Borno Central. The High Court in Maiduguri disqualified him as a candidate while an Abuja High Court reinstated him a day after.
But a statement by the Legal team of the APC made available to the media on Wednesday, said what both courts have achieved in doing is leaving the PDP with a candidate for Borno Central.
In the statement signed by the APC Head of Legal Team, Abdulwasiu Alfa, said the two judgments delivered on Monday and Tuesday have sacked both Umara Kumalia and Jibrin Tatabe who were in court over the ticket, as candidates of the party.
The statement read: “As you are all aware by now, the APC along with its Candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District, Kaka Shehu Lawan Esq., have approached the Federal High Court Maiduguri Division to determine the propriety or otherwise of the acceptance of nomination of one Muhammad Umara Kumalia as the Candidate of the PDP for Borno Central Senatorial District in the forthcoming 2023 General Election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in gross violation of the combined provisions of Section 285(14) (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Sections 29(1) and 84(1) of the Electoral Act 2022”.
Alfa, added in the statement that “the above provisions of the laws allow the APC, in exercising its right as provided by the Constitution that the APC as a registered political party, and its Candidate challenged the publication of the name of one Muhammad Umara Kumalia as the Candidate of the PDP for Borno Central Senatorial District on the 20th day of September, 2022, on the grounds that he (Kumalia) did not emerge from any valid primary or rerun election as contemplated by law.”
Alfa said, “In a reserved judgment delivered by the Federal High Court Maiduguri Division on 9th day of January, 2023 in upholding the argument of APC and its Candidate granted the reliefs as contained in the attached enrolled order of the Honourable Court which effectively laid to rest the candidacy of Muhammad Umara Kumalia.
“Meanwhile, one Jibrin Mustapha Tatabe has also instituted a case against PDP and Muhammad Umara Kumalia, before the Federal High Court Abuja Division challenging the unlawful withdrawal of his nomination and seeking to be declared the authentic Candidate of the PDP having won the primary election of the party for Borno Central Senatorial District in the forthcoming 2023 election.
“In a considered judgment delivered by the Federal High Court Abuja Division on 10th day of January, 2023, the case filed by Jibrin Mustapha Tatabe was dismissed on ground of incompetence.
“In other words, the Federal High Court in Abuja had while delivering judgment on the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1240/22, as filed by Tatabe, refused to recognize Jibrin Mustapha Tatabe as the Candidate of the PDP for Borno Central Senatorial District, while the Federal High Court Maiduguri Division had already set-aside the nomination of Muhammad Umara Kumalia as the Candidate of the PDP for Borno Central Senatorial District.”
” The cumulative effect of the two judgments is that neither Muhammad Umara Kumalia nor Jibrin Mustapha Tatabe is a Candidate in Borno Central Senatorial District Election.
“Thus, the PDP do not have a candidate to contest Borno Central Senatorial District election in 2023 as both candidates have lost out in both courts.
“It is instructive to sound a note of warning here that any claim, presentation or parading of Muhammad Umara Kumalia as the Candidate of the PDP for Borno Central Senatorial District amounts to a contempt of court.
“So as it stands today, 11th day of January, 2023, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no Candidate to contest in the Borno Central Senatorial District in the 2023 General Election”. Said APC Legal Team Leader.
Alfa challenged the media to compel Kumalia to tender the legal order which he claimed emanated from the Federal High Court in Abuja affirming him as candidate.
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri