The Supreme Court of Nigeria is set to deliver its judgment on Monday over the crises of PDP gubernatorial primary election conducted by the Felix Hayyat led electoral committee late last year.
It could be recalled that, Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau one of the gubernatorial aspirants in Zamfara filed a suit challenging the conduct of the governorship primaries on the ground of non-compliance with the provision of section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) which provides that parties to participate in the primaries must be given (21) days notice before the primaries are conducted.
Justice Aminu Bappa of the Federal High Court Gusau agreed that the second primary election conducted by the PDP on the order of the court was in clear breach of the provision of section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 (AS Amended) and nullified the election.
He also issued a consequential order barring the PDP Zamfara from participating in the 2023 gubernatorial race.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Dauda Lawal and PDP through their counsels D. D Dodo (SAN) and Micheal Andoaka (SAN) approached the appellate court challenging the decision of the lower court that the compliance with the provision of section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 (AS Amended) is not mandatory on court ordered primary election.
The Court of Appeal Sokoto division led by Justice M. L. Shuaibu agreed with the appellants and set-aside the judgment of the lower court.
Engr. Ibrahim Shehu disagreed with the judgment of the Sokoto division of the Court of Appeal and heads to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision.
The Supreme Court after hearing the parties fixed Monday the 6th of March 2023 for the delivery of judgment in respect of the matter.
THE JUDGEMENT MAY TURN THINGS AROUND FOR THE PDP
Observers of the political development are of the opinion that, the Monday judgment which is long awaited is likely going to change the pattern of things in the politics of the PDP in Zamfara.
This is against the background that the judgement is coming five days to the 2023 gubernatorial polls and in the event it was delivered against the candidate and the PDP that may be the end of discussion for the party as per as 2023 election is concern.
Malam Ibrahim Bello a lecturer with the Federal Polytechnic Kaura opined that, if the judgment was delivered against Dauda Lawal and PDP that will be a bad terminal for the party.
He argued that, the provision of section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 (As Amended) is a mandatory provision which the Supreme Court must restore in terms of compliance.
He noted that Governor Bello Matawalle and APC may likely get it for free if the Supreme Court decided to disagree with the appellate court, and it is good for the Zamfara PDP and its supporters to go with the 50% hope since anything can happen on Monday.
Another supporter loyal to the appellant Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Nasiru Adamu explained that, the judgment of the appellate court Sokoto which set aside the decision of the lower court in Gusau is clearly not in tendam with the position of the law and expressed confidence that the learned jurists in the Supreme Court must disagreed with the panel of judges led by Justice M. L Shuaibu of the appellate court Sokoto division.
As for the APC and its supporters they are awaiting the outcome of the suite on Monday as that may help bring an end to the PDP’s quest for participation in the 2023 governorship race.