Justice Gabriel Kolawole of Federal High Court on Friday in Abuja struck out a suit seeking to remove Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State from office.
The dismissal motion on notice dated Jan. 30, 2017 emanated from an earlier suit filed on Jan. 27, 2015 by Sen. Umaru Dahiru and Aliyu Abubakar Sanyinna.
The application was filed on the grounds that the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that produced Tambuwal for the 2015 governorship election was not validly conducted.
Dahiru and Sanyinna urged the court to order INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued Tambuwal and present it to Dahiru on the grounds that the senator was the lawfully elected candidate of the APC at the primary election.
The Supreme Court had in 2016 returned the case to the Federal High Court for fresh trial on the grounds that “there is life” in the case in spite of the conduct of the governorship election that produced Tambuwal.
The apex court had disagreed with Tambuwal in his claim that the case of the plaintiff challenging his nomination by APC had become “academic and hypothetical”.
However, sequel to the apex court’s order for retrial, Dahiru, through his counsel, Ikoro N. Ikoro, filed a motion on notice dated Jan. 30 seeking the variation of his pleadings in the motion on notice.
Specifically, the plaintiff sought the nullification of the return of Tambuwal as the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 gubernatorial election in Sokoto State.
However, ruling on the application for amendment filed by the plaintiff, Justice Kolawole, apart from dismissing the application, equally struck out the motion on notice.
The court agreed with APC and Tambuwal that granting the application for amendment of the reliefs would change the “nature and character” of the case file which the Supreme Court remitted for retrial.
Kolawole said “the application of the plaintiffs is an ingenious attempt to have a second bite at the cherry and it is inconsistent with the reliefs sought in the motion on notice remitted from the Supreme Court.
“The plaintiff had in his motion on notice filed, claimed that the Dec. 4, 2014 primary election conducted by APC which produced Tambuwal was a `hallowed ritual’.
“The motion also said the election was a sham and in gross violation of Section 87 of the 2010 Electoral Act and the APC 2014 election guidelines.”
Justice Kolawole also said that granting the amendment would amount to “revalidation” of a primary said to be flawed by the plaintiff.
“Granting the application will occasion injustice on the part of the APC and Tambuwal because the motion on notice did not intend to cure any misnomer.
“Changing the case file is a fundamental issue of professional impropriety which must be not be tolerated.
“The amendment is an abuse of court process and intended to supersede the Supreme Court and outsmart Tambuwal, the 2nd defendant.
“In view of the fact that the application is dismissed, the case file has become empty and there is nothing to adjourn for or to be heard; consequently, the case is struck out,” Justice Kolawole said.