The Nigerian Supreme Court has affirmed Marama Abba of the PDP as the duly elected candidate representing Hawul State Constituency at the Borno House of Assembly.
A five member panel of the apex court led by Justice John Okoro on Thursday held that there was no prove indicating that Abba withdrew his candidacy.
The panel, which set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal, awarded the cost of N5 Million in favour of Abba
The backstory: Ado Haruna had instituted a suit against PDP and INEC before the Federal high court in Maiduguri seeking for an order compelling INEC to accept and publish his name as PDP’s candidate. Haruna had argued that Abba voluntarily withdrew from the race. But the trial court dismissed the case.
He then approached the Appellate court in Abuja which ruled in his favour and declared him the valid candidate representing Hawul State Constituency on December 29, 2022.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the appellate court, Abba approached the apex court seeking to overturn its decision.
In the appeal marked SC/CV/73/2023, Haruna, PDP and INEC are listed as the 1st to 3rd respondents respectively. Abba told the apex court that he did not at any time withdraw his candidature.
His lawyer, Johnson Usman, SAN, prayed the court to hold that the purported letter of withdrawal allegedly signed by Abba was invalid.
He said Abba was the candidate who won the PDP House of Assembly primary election conducted on May 22, 2022, and had not withdrawn his candidacy.
He contended that Abba was not joined as a party in the suit filed before the FHC Maiduguri by Haruna and the failure to join him was a violation of his right to fair hearing.
Consequently, he prayed the court to rule I’m his favor and declare him the rightful candidate as he never withdrew his candidature.
Court judgement: Justice Okoro in his judgement, affirmed Abba as the rightful candidate for the March 18 House of Assembly poll in the constituency.
The court held that since Abba was a necessary party, he ought to have been joined in the original suit before the federal high court.
The apex court held that the judgement of the Court of Appeal was obtained by fraud, misrepresentation and concealment of facts.
Consequently, the apex court declared Abba the duly elected candidate for the Borno House of Assembly representing Hawul State Constituency in the upcoming march 18 election.