Borno: Again Prof Zulum Defeats Opponents at Appeal Court
The Court of Appeal Jos Division has dismissed an appeal challenging the nomination of Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Prof Zulum, an associate of an immediate former Governor of Borno, Senator Kashim Shettima, defeated a group of appellant comprising immediate past minister of state for power, works and housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, a serial Borno governorship aspirant, Kashim Imam, a former minority leader in the house of representatives, Mohammed Umara Kumalia, a serving director of finance at the federal ministry of agriculture, Idrissa Mamman Gatumba and two others, all of the APC, who filed an appeal challenging the October, 2018 governorship primaries in Borno State which was won by Zulum.
Alhaji Idris Mamman-Gatumbwa among others had filled a petition before Justice U. Onyemenam-led justices of the Appellate Court, seeking it to upturn the judgment of Federal High Court, which okayed his (Zulum) nomination as Borno APC governorship candidate for the 2019 general elections.
The appellants had contested the governorship primaries under the APC but lost to Zulum. After the election, they had approached the Federal High Court sitting in Maiduguri asking the court to set aside Zulum’s victory. They lost a preliminary objection at the federal high court, lost an appeal in Jos, lost a fresh argument on return to the federal high court in Maiduguri before filing another appeal with reference number CA/J/174/2019 which they lost on Friday.
Justice Onyemenam, while delivering judgment of the appellate court, dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
“The appeal filed before this appellate by Alhaji Idris Mamman-Gatumbwa, is statute barred and of no effect, as it is lacking in merit.
“Looking at the nature of the case, the decision of the lower court is therefore upheld and the appeal is hereby dismissed for lack of merit,” Onyemenam declared.
The judge held that the case was filed before the lower court after the statutory 14 days grace as stipulated by the Electoral Act.
Justice Jude Dakat of Borno Federal High Court had dismissed the petition of the appellant on the basis that it lacked merit.
Dakat had, in that judgment held that the petitions lacked merit on the grounds that it was filed out of the 14 days grace to challenge any discrepancy during party primaries as stipulated by the electoral act.
Counsel for the appellant, Mr Ibrahim Bawa, SAN, had approached the Appellate court to upturn the judgment of the Lower Court, praying it to look into the merit of the case and order the party to do the needful in accordance with the law.
He had prayed the court to upturn the decision of the Lower Court, which failed to look at the merit of case but dismissed it.
Bawa further stated that the lower court was wrong to declare that “we were out of the 14 days.”
He also argued that Section 87 of the Electoral Act stipulates that primaries not properly conducted should be nullified.
He had prayed the appellate court to allow the appeals.