Court nullifies PDP candidacy in Kogi governorship election

Court nullifies candidacy of Musa Wada of PDP in the Kogi governorship election

Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

The hope of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to contest the result of the 16 November 2019 Kogi State governorship election was dashed on Thursday as the State High Court sitting in Lokoja nullified the eligibility of the party’s candidate in the poll.

The then PDP candidate Engineer Musa Wada, was the runner-up in the election, in which incumbent Yahaya Bello was the runaway winner.

Justice John Olorunfemi of High Court IV delivering judgement in a matter brought before him by Abubakar Ibrahim against the PDP and three others, held that the 3 September 2019 primary of the party held at the Confluence Stadium did not meet the expectations of the Electoral Act and the Nigerian constitution.

In the night of 3 September last year, the primary came to a sudden end when gunmen invaded the Confluence Stadium, shooting sporadically, wounding and killing some of the delegates in the process.

The exercise was concluded the following day at a Guest House by the committee headed by Governor Fintiri of Adamawa State.

The committee declared Engr. Musa Wada winner of the election with 748 votes, while Abubakar emerged the first runner up with 710 votes. Abubakar cried blue murder and ran to the court for redress.

The judge explained that although the claimant could not establish his claim that some missing ballots belonged to him, neither the party nor Engr. Musa Wada could also justify the 600 votes allocated to Wada.

Olorunfemi warned that no one should parade himself as candidate of the party in the election
“No Victor, no vanquished,” the Judge declared while warning political parties to play by the rules and provide level playing ground for its members in choosing a candidate.

The ruling of the court, except overturned by a higher court, means the PDP will not be able to challenge the victory of Governor Yahaya Bello in the governorship election as the party had vowed to do.