Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has ordered all parties in the disputed congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State not to take any action with regards to the outcome of the elections pending the determination of the suit filed by aggrieved members of the party, led by Alhaji Sirajo Garba.
The court, while issuing the preservative order, yesterday, warned that a breach of the order would attract judicial sanction.
After listening to submissions made by counsel to the plaintiffs, James Onoja (SAN), Justice Dimgba ordered parties to maintain “status quo and should not take any steps that would render nugatory the subject matter of this litigation.”
He further warned, “A breach of this order attracts judicial sanction.”
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/910/2018, 139 aggrieved members of the party, loyal to Senator Kabir Garba Marafa, are challenging the result of the congresses of the party held on 5th, 12th and 19th May, 2018.
They are praying the court for an order declaring them as the party’s duly elected chairmen/members of the 147 ward executive committee and state executive committee, as the case may be, of the APC in Zamfara State being the only members/ candidates who expressed their intent to be elected to such offices, paid prescribed fees for the party’s nomination forms following electoral guidelines and thus remained unopposed at all material times leading to the said congress election.
Defendants in the matter are the All Progressives Congress (APC) members, Alhaji Lawal Liman Namado; Alhaji Sani Musa; Engr Babangida Abdullahi and Aminu Saraki and two others.
In the suit, the plaintiffs urged the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining the first and eighth defendants by themselves, their servants, organs from dealing in anyway with and or accepting /according recognition to any person, decision or action or result of any election to any organ of the party, particularly the wards, local government area and state congresses of the party for the 147 wards, executive committees, 14 LGA executive committees and state executive committees, as the case may be for Zamfara State.
An order of perpetual injunction restraining all persons presented as “consensus candidates” and imposed on the plaintiffs and other members of the party (first defendant) as chairmen/members of the 147 wards congresses, 14 LGA executive committees and state executive committees, as the case may be, for Zamfara State at the congresses’ elections held on 5th, 12th and 19th May, 2018 by themselves, servants or agents from parading themselves as performing the functions of the chairmen/ members of the 147 wards Executive, 14 LGA executive committees and state executive committees, as the case may be for the APC in Zamfara State.
The plaintiffs formulated 12 questions for determination and 15 declaratory reliefs including, “Whether upon a proper construction or interpretation of the provisions of section 223(1) (a) of the 1999 constitution, section 15 (c) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 constitution, section 85 (3) of the Electoral Act, Article 20(1) (a) of the Constitution of the APC and regulations relating to “nomination of candidates for party position” and mode of elections at congresses” stipulated in the party’s “guidelines for wards, LGA and State Congresses, the first and eighth defendants have a statutory duty to ensure that the organs of the party as specified in Articles 11(a) of its Constitution, particularly the wards executive, LGA executive and state executive committees, are constituted in a democratic manner to ensure that popular participation and choice of members of the party prevails.”
Senator Marafa also lauded the decision of the court stating that the governor schemed aspirants out during the recent congress in the state.
Speaking to State House correspondents yesterday, after meeting with President Buhari at the President Villa, he said that no nation progresses without justice.
He also stated that he briefed the president on the update on the killings in Zamfara State.
He also chided the governor who, earlier in the year, declared that he had resigned as the chief security officer of the state, saying he should resign.
He said, “I heap a lot of blame on you, the media, in the way and manner you handled it and number one culprit is the State House of Assembly. If I were a member of the State House of Assembly, I would have initiated impeachment of the governor because he lacks conscience, and the media ought to have done much more than what they did.
“This is part of the problem we have as a people, when problems happen in other states they tend to be overblown but when they happen in another state nobody cares and Nigeria is supposed to be seen as one country. For a chief executive to come out publicly to say that he has resigned as the chief security officer of a state, he or she is supposed to accompany that statement with a resignation.
“You cannot be spending state funds on security and lives and property are not safe, number one responsibility of any government is protection of lives and property, any person that cannot protect the lives of people he superintends over is supposed to resign.
When asked if he is calling on the governor to resign now? He replied “I don’t have to call on him to resign, this is something that every Nigerian is supposed to say and he himself, if he has conscience and he knows what leadership is all about; if he is quite knowledgeable in Islamic ways and if he took the teachings of Islam very seriously, he would have resigned in the real essence of the word rather than making mere pronouncements that he has resigned as chief security officer.
“You only take the sunny side of opposition but the ugly side, you say you are not responsible. When it comes to the money of Zamfara State, he is the governor; when it comes to the protection of lives of the people of the state, then it is President Muhammadu Buhari that is responsible.
“The worst thing, I always say, is that this is the first person that has unfettered access to the president, now have you been telling the president the truth? This is where the challenge lies, when he comes here, he tells you that the president is doing very well, when he goes back to the state, he says security is not his responsibility but that of the president and he (president) is not doing anything about it.”
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