CPC CRISIS: ABACHA PRAYS COURT TO HALT MOVES TO SUBSTITUTE HIS NAME
The crisis over the governorship slot of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Kano State took another dimension as Mohammed Abacha, the son of late former military Head of State Sani Abacha, on Thursday raised the alarm that the leadership of the party is making frantic efforts to withdraw his name already released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.
Abacha's name had appeared on the list of candidates displayed by INEC in Kano State, against earlier speculations that his closest rival, Lawal Ja'afaru Isah, was the CPC's candidate submitted to the INEC. However, the party had expressed its outrage over the alleged doctoring of the list of candidates it submitted to the commission last week.
Specifically, National Chairman of the party, Tony Momoh, told journalists in
Abuja that the commission disobeyed the provisions of the enabling law by substituting some names which it submitted to it for approval. In a veiled reference to the announcement of Abacha as the CPC's gubernatorial candidate in Kano State, Mr. Momoh insisted that only the parties had the right to choose who would contest on their platforms and not the commission.
However, Abacha, fearing that his name would be tampered with, has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking for a declaration of the court that INEC should recognise him as the rightful candidate of the party for the April 2011 governorship election in Kano State. In the suit filed by his counsel, Mr. Abdullahi Haruna, Abacha noted: 'I have lately gathered from sources in the national secretariat of the 1st defendant that the name of the 3rd defendant has been confidently agreed to be submitted to the 3rd defendant in substitution for me as the gubernatorial candidate of the 1st defendant in Kano State for no just cause.'
Furthermore, he said the National Secretary, had launched a media campaign against his candidature and has vowed to do everything to substitute his name with Isah.
Abacha claimed: 'That an interview aired on the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BCC) Radio at 5:a.m on February 8, 2011, the 1st defendant's National Secretary challenged my candidature and vowed to do everything to remove me as the candidate of the 1st defendant in the governorship election for Kano State slated for April, 2011.'
Adding that the continued efforts of the party's national executive to arbitrarily substitute his name, Abacha said the national chairman had been reported in a national daily that INEC's acceptance of his name as the rightful candidate of the party in the Kano State governorship election slated for April 2011 was wrongful.
According to him: 'Since my emergence as the party's flagbearer, I have not withdrawn my candidature and I do not intend to withdraw from the general election.
As the candidate of my party, the 1st defendant, which is the basis on which I have laboriously canvassed support for my interest and programmes to the teeming electorate in my state.' Abacha, was earlier in court seeking for an order restraining the CPC, from submitting any other name other than his to the INEC.
Abacha claimed that he won the primary election in the state but the party failed to send his name to INEC.
In an originating summons filed by his lawyer, Haruna, Abacha wants the court to declare that INEC should not recognise any other governorship candidate from the CPC except him.