The Court of Appeal, Kano division, yesterday, affirmed the Federal High Court verdict that validated the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary, which produced Abdullahi Gaya as the party’s candidate for Gaya/Ajingi/Albasu Federal constituency of Kano State in next month’s election.
The court struck out the appeal filed by Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital Communication, Bashir Ahmad, challenging the credibility of Gaya’s nomination at the primary.
In a lead judgment by Justices Ita Mbaba (presiding), Boloukuromo Ugo and Usman Musale, the appellate court dismissed the appeal on the basis that the lower court delivered judgment on the pre-election trial outside the 180 days limit stipulated by the constitution.
The respondents, Gaya and APC, had moved a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal to hear Ahmad’s suit, citing Section 284 (10) of 1999 Constitution.
Justice Mbaba submitted that since the lower court had exceeded the days provided by the constitution for delivery of judgment on a pre-election case, the appellate court lacked the jurisdiction to sit on proceedings that ought to be in nullity.
The presidential aide had questioned the December 7, 2022 judgment of Justice Abdullahi Liman of the Federal High Court in Kano, which dismissed his prayers against Gaya for lacking in merit.
Although, Ahmad, through his lawyer, Rilwan Idris, had argued that the electoral committee delegated by APC headquarters, tactically prevented the 85 delegates from casting their votes, Liman insisted that Ahmad could not sufficiently certify their membership on the APC register.
Gaya was declared winner with 109 votes to defeat Ahmad, who polled 16 in the July 27, 2022 APC primary, to secure the party’s ticket.