The Supreme Court has declared Mr David Jimkuta, as the validly elected candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Taraba South Senatorial District.
The five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun dismissed the appeal filed by a senatorial aspirant, Mr Danjuma Shiddi, for lacking in merit.
The apex court also upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which held that the primary election that produced Jimkata was conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC and was valid in accordance with the relevant laws.
The battle over who is to represent the indigenes of Taraba South in the Senate has been finally laid to rest by the Supreme Court as it has declared Jimkuta as the right candidate for the APC.
Jimkata had won the APC primary election for Taraba South but was substituted by his party with Shiddi, who is a serving member in the House of Representatives.
Dissatisfied with his substitution, he headed to the Federal High Court in Abuja, to seek redress. In his originating summons, Jimkuta claimed the party’s primary election with 170 votes, while Shiddi polled 80 votes.
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He prayed the court to declare him winner of the primary and stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Shiddi, who came a distant second, as the APC senatorial candidate for Taraba South. He however lost at the trial court.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, however, declared him as the authentic candidate, and set aside the decision of the trial court.
The appellate court, led by Justice Barka, held that the primary election that produced Jimkuta was conducted by the NWC of the APC and was valid in accordance with the relevant laws.
The panel held that only the NWC of the APC has the powers and rights to conduct a valid primary election for the party.
Shiddi appealed the appellate court’s decision at the Supreme Court, but lost out as the apex court held that his appeal lacked merit.
The judgement by the Supreme Court affirms Jimkuta, who recently received his certificate of return following the just concluded National Assembly election.
The Labour Party and its candidate, Mr Peter Obi, had similarly filed a petition at the tribunal in Abuja.
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