Justice Baba Gana Ashigar of a Federal High Court in Birnin Kebbi has nullified the election of Haruna Garba Argungu as the Peoples Democratic Party House of Representatives candidate for Argungu/Augie federal constituency.
He declared Sani Yakubu Noma as the party’s candidate and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to recognise him.
The judge gave the order following an application by Noma against Haruna Garba Argungu, the PDP and INEC.
A copy of the court processes was obtained by journalists in Abuja on Monday.
Argungu however still has the option of appeal at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Noma had sought a declaration that by virtue of the provision of Section 84 (5) (c) (ii) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and Article 50 (1) & (2) (d) of the constitution of PDP (As amended in 2017), part ii paragraph 7, part IV paragraph 2,6,9 and 10 of the Electoral Guidelines for primary election for the party, the result of the House of Representatives primary election of the 2nd defendant for Argungu/Augie federal constituency, Kebbi State, conducted on May 23 2022, by which he was declared winner was a valid result of the primaries.
He said by the result of the House of Representative primary election of the PDP (2nd defendant) for Argungu/Augie federal constituency of Kebbi State on May 23 2022, he was the candidate of the 2nd defendant for the said constituency in respect of the 2023 general elections.
Noma said by virtue of the provision of sections 29 (i) and 84 (5) (c) (ii) of the Election Act, 2022 and the Electoral Guidelines for Primary Election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the substitution of his name with that of Haruna Garba Argungu for Argungu/Augie federal constituency, Kebbi State, was not valid and legal and cannot be sustained.
The plaintiff said the name of Argungu cannot and ought not to be forwarded to INEC for the House of Representative for Augungu/Augie federal constituency for the 2023 general elections
He said INEC “cannot in the circumstances accept, recognize and or publish the name of the Haruna Garuba Argungu as the candidate of the PDP for the House of Representatives for Argungu/Augie Federal Constituency, Kebbi State, for 2023 general elections.”
He asked for an order setting aside the substitution and publication of Haruna Garuba Argungu as the candidate of PDP for the House of Representatives, for Argungu/Augie Federal Constituency Kebbi State in respect of the 2023 General Election.
Noma sought an order compelling PDP to forward his name to INEC as its candidate for the House of Representatives, Argungu/Augie Federal Constituency, Kebbi State, for the 2023 General Elections.
He had asked for an order of perpetual injunction restraining PDP, whether by itself, national chairman, officers, agents, privies, or through any persons, or through any person of persons howsoever, from presenting Haruna Garuba Argungu as the candidate for the office of the House of Representatives, National Assembly member representing Argungu/Augie federal constituency, Kebbi State at the 2023 General election.
The court granted the prayer of the Plaintiff, Sani Yakubu Noma.
The Judge said, “And after hearing J. J. Usman (SAN), counsel for the Plaintiff, Hussaini Zakariyau (SAN) counsel for the 1 Defendant, Nura Bello, counsel for the 2nd Defendant and M. A. Bawa for the 3° Defendant.
“And the court having delivered its judgment, INEC (the 3rd defendant) is ordered to accept and recognize the plaintiff Sani Yakubu Noma as the only valid and lawful candidate of the PDP (2nd defendant) for the House of Representative representing Argungu/Augie Federal Constituency, Kebbi State in the 2023 general election.”