Barely three months to the general elections in February and March of next year, the political ambition of some prominent politicians in both the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, and the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP are already being threatened by the judiciary.
Who are the politicians Involved?
Following the conclusion of primary elections by the two main political parties earlier in the year, disgruntled politicians, who lost out in the party primaries, in their usual manner, took to the court to challenge the outcome of the primary elections, praying the court to either out rightly declare the election null and void or call for a rerun.
The first major post-primary intra-party standoff was between Senate president Ahmed Lawan and Bashir Machina over the Yobe North Senatorial District APC ticket, which Lawan eventually lost to Machina after a series of Court rulings.
Just last week, a series of disqualifications of candidates of both the APC and PDP trailed INEC’s release of the final list of candidates for the 2023 general elections.
On November 7, a Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo nullified the election of Senator Emmanuel Bwacha as the Taraba APC governorship candidate. Reaffirming the Nullification, Justice Egwuatu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, November 14, called on the APC to conduct a fresh governorship election in the state.
In a similar development, a Port Harcourt Federal High Court, on November 11, disqualified 16 House of Assembly candidates of the All Progressive Congress in River state for non-compliance with the new electoral Act.
Same last week, Zamfara State PDP governorship primary election was nullified by a Federal High court sitting in Gusau, the state capital, putting in jeopardy, the governorship ambition of Dauda Lawan-Dare, PDP’s flag bearer in the state.
Who else has been disqualified?
Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja yesterday, November 14 disqualified former Akwa-Ibom state governor and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio from contesting as APC candidate representing Akwa-Ibom North-West senatorial District in the 2023 general election.
Similarly, the Court of Appeal has also reserved judgment on a case brought to it by Senator Aishatu Binani, APC governorship candidate in Adamawa state.
You would recall that in October, Binani’s victory was nullified by Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court, Yola for overvoting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act following a complaint filed by her closest opponent, Nuhu Ribadu, who came second in the election.
The appellate court panel comprising Justices Teni Yusuf Hassan, M.O Bolaji, and James Abundaga reserved judgment in the appeal after adopting briefs from counsel to Binani, Ribadu, APC, and INEC.