PDP’s bid to disqualify Gov. Matawalle, others falls flat

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, dismissed a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s suit seeking the disqualification of Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara and other All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidates in the forthcoming general elections.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, dismissed the suit on the ground that it was incompetent and constituted an abuse of the court process.

The PDP had, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1622/2022, sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Matawalle, and his deputy, Mohammed Gusau Hassan as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.

The party also sued all the senatorial, House of Representatives, and House of Assembly candidates in the state.

Former governor Abdulaziz Yari, who is vying for the senatorial seat, and ex-lawmaker, Kabir Marafa were joined as 5th and 7th defendants, among the other 38th defendants listed in the originating summons.

The PDP, in the motion, asked the court to determine whether the APC, which adopted the indirect mode of primaries for the selection and nomination of its choice of candidates shall democratically elect delegates to vote at its convention, congress, conference, or meeting convened to nominate candidates for elections into any elective office.

It said the question was upon a proper construction and interpretation of the combined provisions of Section 84 (1), (2), (5) & (8) of the Electoral Act, 2022, and other enabling laws on that behalf.

The party, therefore, sought an order nullifying the purported sponsorship and/or nomination of the 3rd to 38th defendants by the APC (2nd defendant) to INEC for the 2023 general elections into the respective positions of the elective offices in Zamfara.


It also sought an order of injunction restraining INEC from according to recognition to APC and all its candidates in the Feb. 25 and March 11 polls, among others.

Delivering judgment, Justice Ekwo upheld all the preliminary objections raised by APC and its candidates.

The judge agreed with the defense that the provision of Section 285 (14) (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which the PDP relied on as giving them the locus standing (legal right) in the case did not avail them.
According to him, this means there is no iota of law that supports this action.

Justice Ekwo said he had also found that the plaintiff was not an aspirant in the APC primaries by virtue of Sections 84(14) and 152 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The judge, who held that no law supported the filing of the case, said he found that the suit constituted an abuse of the court process.

He also agreed with the defence that the suit was statue barred, having been filed outside the 14 days of the cause of action as prescribed the law.

Justice Ekwo, consequently, dismissed the suit.