By;BALA B. BITRUS,, Minna.
Nigeria’s apex court, the Supreme Court has ruled that the election of Abubakar Sani Bello as Governor of Niger state was properly done and the exercise was legitimately valid.
The Court on Friday in a judgement by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen ruled that relief sought by Mustapha Babangida asking the court to upturn the victory of Bello as Governor of Niger state lacks merit.
Justice Onnoghen said since the appellant did not participate in the election, he could therefore not lay any claim over the conduct of the election even though he is a card carrying member of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) in the state.
Babangida was an aspirant for the the position of governor under the flagship of the party but did not make it to the party’s primary election.
Mustapha Babangida had approached the apex court after the election to nullify the election of Sani Bello on the grounds that he was schemed out of the primary election of the party. He had prayed the court to cancel the election that brought Bello into office and call for a fresh election.
The appellant had dragged the party, (APC), and Abubakar Sani Bello to the Federal High Court in Minna where he among other prayers, accused the party of being biased. He had alleged that Governor Sani Bello’s emergence as the APC flag bearer was shrouded in illegality and should therefore be declared as null and void.But while ruling on the case with Suit No. FHC/Minna/255/2015 and dated 3rd of February, 2016, Justice Onnoghen noted that after considering the issues, citing the case of Audu and Nyako and sections 87 sub-section 9 of the electoral Act, 2010 said the appellant did not participate in the election neither did he fail in the elections as it was conducted.The lead judgement which was prepared by Chief Justice Onnoghen, was delivered by the Presiding Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs as mandated by CJN.
He said the appellant had no right to take the matter to court since he was not party to the contest.Counsel to the appellant, Mohammed M. Mohammed however called for an amendment of Section 87 of the Electoral Act which denied his client the right to sue.But Counsel to the first respondent, (APC), Yunus Usman however hailed the ruling of the apex court.