2023: Abacha Sues PDP, INEC Over Alleged Unlawful Substitution

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Mohammed Abacha (son of the late General Sani Abacha) has sued the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and two others over alleged unlawful substitution of as the party’s governorship candidate in Kano State.

In a suit marked: FHC/KN/CS/204/2022 filed by his lawyers – Joshua Musa (SAN) and Reuben Atabo (SAN), – Abacha claimed to have won the May 25, 2022 governorship primary of the PDP in Kano State and accused the PDP and INEC of replacing his name with that of Sadiq Aminu Wali.

In the suit filed before the Kano division of the Federal High Court,  in Abuja, Abacha wants the court to among others, compel INEC to recognize him as the PDP’s lawful governorship candidate in Kano and to restrain the party and its state Chairman, Shehu Sagagi from further holding out Wali as the candidate.

Wali and Sagagi are listed with INEC, and PDP as defendants in the suit.

In a supporting affidavit, Abacha said he is a registered member of the PDP and was cleared to contest the party’s governorship primary after paying N21,500,000 (for the nomination and expression of interest forms and handling charge).

The plaintiff claimed to have won the primary conducted by the party on May 25, 2022 at its state headquarters, which was monitored by INEC’s representatives, with 736 votes.

Abacha stated: “ I scored 736 votes and was declared the winner,” adding that his name was reflected in the certified true copy (CTC) of INEC’s list of winners as the winner of the primary election and gubernatorial candidate of the PDP) in Kano.”

He stated that he was surprised when on July 22, 2022 INEC published the name of Wali as the PDP governorship candidate in Kano and “left out my name, who won the primary election.”

Abacha alleged that Wali’s father, Ambassador Aminu Wali, who is a member of the PDP Board of Trustees was “making frantic efforts to use his privileged position in the party to install his son, who scored zero at the primary election as the party’s governorship candidate.”

He faulted the decision by INEC to publish Wali’s name as against his own and the PDP’s alleged wrongful substitution of his name, and prayed the court to reverse both decisions and order his recognition as the valid PDP governorship candidate in Kano for the 2023 election.
The defendants are yet to respond to the suit.

Abacha is equally praying the court to reject a suit marked: FHC/KN/CS/186/2022 challenging his eligibility to contest the last governorship primary of the PDP in Kano.

The plaintiff, Jafar Bello claimed among others, that Abacha was not a valid member of the PDP and as such was not qualified to have participated in the primary and should not be allowed to participate in the 2023 election as the party’s candidate.

In his notice of preliminary objection and counter affidavit, filed by his lawyer, Reuben Atabo (SAN), Abacha faulted the suit, claiming that no cause of action was established against him b the plaintiff.

Abacha argued that the suit, which has his name, the PDP and INEC as defendants, was wrongly directed as he was not the person whose name the party submitted to INEC as its candidate for the governorship election.

While exhibiting his PDP membership card, the waiver and clearance granted him by the PDP to contest the primary election, Abacha added that even though he won the primary, as reflected in INEC’s result, the party was plotting to scuttle his ambition.