Kindly Share This Story:By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA – A High Court sitting in Lokoja has fixed March 6 March, 2020 to deliver judgement on a matter brought before it to determine the rightful owner of the Peoples Democratic Party ticket in the last year September 3, PDP primaries.
Engr. Musa Wada was declared candidate of the PDP for the Governorship election held on 16 November, 2019; an election which saw Alhaji Yahaya Bello emerged winner.
Justice John Olorunfemi of the Lokoja High Court 4, fixed March 6 to deliver judgement after counsels to all parties in the suit adopted their written addresses.READ ALSO: Kogi govt bans traditional rulers from creating chiefdom, district head
Adopting his address, Rowland Otaru, SAN, Counsel to the Claimant, Abubakar Ibrahim, urged the court to grant the plea of the Claimant, “as they are evidenced and premised on the rock of Gibraltar.”
He said Abubakar Ibrahim won the PDP primaries, alleged the smuggling in of 600, and another missing 241 votes to the defendants (Musa Wada) on the second day after primaries; following the disruption of the congress election by gunmen at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja.
He urged the court to invoke section 167, 146 of the evidenced act to show that the documents tendered by the police were documents submitted in their official capacity, pointing out that the defendant even abandoned their pleading to prove that they didn’t import in ballot papers, as their only witness failed to show up to deny the allegation.
He urged the court to rely on exhibits C13, C14 submitted by the police to give credence to the claimants plea, adding that the first defendant smuggled in ballot papers to make Engr Wada, emerge winner of the PDP primaries.
While noting that the issues of party primaries is not a domestic matter as claimed by the defendant, said as long as the Claimant feels his rights have been injured, he has no choice but to seek legal redress.
Counsel to 2nd defendant, Musa Wada, Barr. J.S. Okutepa, SAN, described the claimants petition as full with fury, urged the trial judge to dismiss the petition as it has faulty foundation.
Okutepa said, “The mathematical calculation of the claimant is an exercise in futility. We urged the court not to rely on exhibits C13, C14 as it cannot carry weight more than D3, which is the INEC report, as they are constitutionally empowered to observe party primaries.
Counsel to 1st defendant, PDP on his own disclosed that the matter of primaries is an internal affairs, pointing out that the claimants fail to prove that there was missing votes or smuggling in of alleged 600 votes, asked the court to jettison the petition for lacking in merit in its entirety.