Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
There is no reprieve for the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, as the suit objecting his victory at the party’s primary instituted at a Federal High Court in Maiduguri was Thursday adjourned till January 30.
The objection to his victory was instituted by another aspirant at the primary, Alhaji Idris Durkwa, who prayed that his election should be annulled on the ground of irregularities.
Durkwa had alleged in a suit FHC/MG/CS/55/2018 that many of the delegates were not on the party lawful list as those allowed to vote were brought in by the backers of Zulum after the qualified delegates were chased away.
The lead counsel to the plaintiff, Ibrahim Bawa (SAN), had filed an application for amendment to his originating summon for 1st and 2nd. He argued that pre- election matter is election matter that the two were not guided with the same, and prayed that his application should be granted.
The lead counsel to the defendant, Yusuf Ali (SAN), however, opposed it, filing a motion of extension of time to filed counter affidavit and address to the main application. Then, 1st and 2nd defendants, Zulum and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), also filed a counter motion for the amendment to the originating summon.
In his ruling, Justice Jude Dagat of the Federal High Court in Maiduguri adjourned the matter to January 30, 2018, for ruling of motion and application.
Speaking to journalists after the court sitting, the lead counsel to the plaintiff said it is within their right to seek amendment under the constitution.
Bawa said: “You see, by the rule of court, the party is entitled to amendment in the case to bring proper position to the court, and that is what we have just decided to do, we exercised our right to amendment, the decision of the defendants to opposed it is also natural; the court has right, and whether we are correct or not, we will wait for decision of the court in the next sitting date.”
The lead counsel to the defendants Yusuf Ali opposed it and said it was unconstitutionally.
“It is coming too late. The constitution gives a maximum of 14 days after primary elections were held, so we are defending the constitution.”