- Category: Politics
- Published on Friday, 11 February 2011 07:09
- Written by Daily Trust
- Hits: 1994
The protracted struggle to fly the governorship flag of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Kano State took another dramatic turn last night when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reversed itself and dropped the name of Alhaji Mohammed Abacha, who it had earlier recognised as the party’s candidate in Kano.
A letter conveying the decision to CPC was about to be signed by INEC Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega last night, Daily Trust learnt. The letter is likely to point out to CPC that according to the INEC monitoring team’s report, Abacha won its primary elections, but it would stop there. Isa’s name was however submitted to INEC by CPC’s secretariat.
Incidentally, this happened on the day that Alhaji Mohammed Sani Abacha filed a motion before an Abuja Federal High Court seeking an order of interlocutory injunction restraining CPC and INEC from recognizing anyone other than him as the candidate of the party for the April 16, 2011 governorship election.
Abacha initially filed a suit on February 2, challenging the failure of the party to submit his name to INEC as the winner of the recently conducted governorship primary election. He sued CPC alongside INEC, Brigadier General Lawal Ja’afaru Isa and Major General Muhammadu Buhari, CPC’s Board of Trustees chairman and presidential candidate. Buhari’s name was however struck out of the suit last Monday on Abacha’s instructions.
Abacha’s counsel Reuben Atabo said his client filed the motion as a result of the CPC purportedly disowning him as a member of the party. In an affidavit in support of the motion, Abacha averred that “I have lately gathered from sources in the CPC National Secretariat that the name of the 3rd defendant has been confidentially agreed to be submitted to the INEC in substitution for me as the gubernatorial candidate of CPC in Kano State for no just cause.”
He similarly averred that the CPC National Secretary, Buba Galadima has launched a media campaign against him and has vowed to substitute his name with that of the 3rd defendant. This, he said, Galadima made evident in a BBC Hausa Service interview which aired on February 8, as well as on the Nigeria Television Authority [NTA] on the same date.
Abacha is in court asking that INEC be restrained from recognising Lawal Ja’afaru Isah as the party’s flag bearer in the April 16, 2011 general election, not having emerged in accordance with the Electoral Act (2010). He is seeking an order directing CPC to submit his name to the electoral body as the validly nominated governorship candidate of the party having won the primaries which held on January 12, 2011.
He similarly wants an order directing the defendants (particularly INEC), to recognize him as the flag bearer of the CPC governorship election in Kano state slated for April 16, 2011 having emerged the winner of the primary election with a total of 144, 066 votes as opposed to Isah’s 78, 671 votes.
Abacha equally wants a declaration that the submission of the 3rd defendant’s name to INEC as CPC Kano state governorship candidate in the governorship elections slated for April 16, is illegal, unlawful and contrary to the Electoral Act (2010) as well as the CPC guideline. The case has been slated for February 15 before Justice Gabriel Kolawole.
Top officials of INEC had a series of meetings in Abuja yesterday at which they reviewed the controversy that has trailed the submission of candidate lists by political parties. According to sources, the bones of contention were the Electoral Act’s insistence that every candidate for election must emerge through a democratic primary election, versus a later amendment to the Act which requires INEC to accept all candidates submitted to it by the parties.
The sources said yesterday’s meetings reaffirmed INEC’s earlier position that it will respect every valid court order that is served on it. Daily Trust learnt that at least 70 court orders have been served on the commission from courts all over the country. Among the most contentious are PDP governorship and legislative tickets in Oyo, Ogun and Enugu States, where court orders have stymied the nominations.