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Supreme Court Affirms Wamakko's Election As Sokoto Governor

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ABUJA, Nov 26, (THEWILL) - Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu magatakarda Wamakko of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today survived the final bid to unseat as Governor by the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) in Sokoto and its Governorship candidate, Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi.

Dakinyadi and DPP had accused Wamakko of contesting the governorship election of Sokoto State under the two platforms, that is, the PDP, and All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), which was his original party.

Alhaji Wamakko at the time of standing election on the platform of the PDP had secured the nomination of the ANPP with Senator Bello Gada as his running mate, Dakinyadi had argued.

He opined that Wamakko without relinquishing his candidature of his party, ANPP suddenly was the PDP governorship candidate for the election without a running mate and was subsequently declared winner violating section 187-91 of the Electoral Act 2006, which stipulates that any candidate to be fielded by any political party must be a registered member of such a party at least 60 days prior to the election.

Friday’s five-member panel in a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Christopher Chukwuma-Eneh struck out Dingyadi’s appeal pending before the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal.

In dismissing Dingyadi’s suit, the Supreme Court agreed with the submission of Wamakko’s counsel, Mr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, that the DPP candidate did abuse judicial process by filing multiple suits at various courts including the Federal High Court, Abuja, Kaduna and Sokoto divisions.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I dismiss the interlocutory appeal in this matter (vide Order 8 Rule6 (1) and (5) of the Rules of the Court as well as the appeal No. CA/S/EP/GOV/10/2009 pending at the Court of Appeal, Sokoto as an abuse of process. I make no order as to cost,” the Supreme Court said adding that the appellant's appeal was effectively deemed withdrawn and consequently dismissed by the court.

“I hold that the appellants have withdrawn the appeal here in compliance with Rule 6(1) of the Rules of the court. The appellants have showed their avowed intention not to pursue the prosecution of the appeal as evidenced by their filing on 8/6/2010, a notice of withdrawal of appeal and by serving the same on all the parties as prescribed by Rule 6(1), so that as per Rule 6(5), the appeal is deemed to have been effectively withdrawn and dismissed”, the court held.

Recall that on October 14, 2010, the DPP candidate had approached the Supreme Court for the withdrawal of his appeal at the Court of Appeal challenging the election of Wamakko as Sokoto Governor following the refusal of the Court of Appeal to allow him amend or withdraw his prayers at the court.

A notice of withdrawal filed by Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) on June 8, 2010 had sought the court’s permission to stop the case under Order 8 Rule 6 (1) and (4) of the Supreme Court, noting that the June 4, 2010 ruling of the Supreme Court did not prevent Dingyadi from withdrawing the appeal but the court ruled that the motion was not properly filed.