Captain Idris Wada (rtd) of Kogi State
By Tobi Soniyi
Three months after he adjourned to deliver judgment in the suit filed by the winner of the aborted Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship primary in Kogi State, Jilbrin Isah, challenging the validity of the primary that produced Captain Idris Wada, Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court is yet to deliver judgment.
The judge had on Wednesday May 9 said he would, on June 29, decide whether or not the judgment of the Supreme Court declaring that a political party had the exclusive right to choose its flag bearer in an election was binding on the controversy arising from the Kogi State Governorship primaries.
The judgment however was not ready on June 29 which resulted in adjournments. Latter, the trial judge was said to have travelled for conference even before the court went on vacation. A court source said the earlier the judgment could be deliver would be September when the court resumes from vacation.
Isah is asking the high court to declare him as the person nominated to contest for the office of the Kogi State governor under the PDP.
While the governor had since continued with the day-to-day administration of the state, supporters of Isah are hoping that the court judgment will be in their favour. Both parties have high expectations.
Before the case was adjourned for judgment, lawyers representing Isa, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Wada made efforts to persuade the judge to rule in their favour.
While INEC and Wada argued that the Supreme Court judgment in the case of former Bayelsa Sate Governor Timipriye Sylva against INEC supported their position, but Isah’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN disagreed.
The Supreme Court had on April 20 dismissed the appeal filed by Sylva who sought to be declared the authentic candidate of the PDP for the Bayelsa State governorship elections on the grounds that he won the January 2011 primary.
But the Supreme Court among other things held that the January primary won by Sylva in preparation for the election of April 2011 had faded into irrelevance following the cancellation of that election by INEC.
The apex court further held that since Sylva did not participate in the later primary which was won by Seriake Dickson, he could not challenge the legitimacy of the later primary.