Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Against Plateau LP Gubernatorial Candidate

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The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Yohanna Margif, the Labour Party governorship aspirant in Plateau State, in a suit challenging the nomination of the party’s standard-bearer, Dr Patrick Dakum.

Earlier, the appellant had in his brief challenged the emergence of Dr Dakum as the LP’s governorship candidate in Plateau, insisting that he won the governorship primary election of the party and never withdrew his nomination.

The party, however, insisted that Margif in a letter voluntarily withdrew his candidacy and copied the Independent National Electoral Commission in the same letter.

The party claimed that following the withdrawal by Margif, a new primary election was conducted which produced Dakum and his name submitted to INEC.

Consequently, Margif took the matter to a Federal High Court in Jos.

He however lost the suit as the court upheld the position of LP and declared Dakum as the LP legitimate governorship candidate in the state.

Delivering judgement, Justice Dorcas Agishi, on December 9, 2022, affirmed Dakum as the authentic candidate of the party, having followed the party’s guidelines to emerge as the LP’s standard bearer.

The judge affirmed that Margif had signed an affidavit to withdraw voluntarily as the governorship candidate of the party which necessitated the party to conduct a fresh primary that produced Dakum.

Dissatisfied with the High Court’s decision, Margif approached the Court of Appeal but lost and subsequently moved to the Supreme Court for a final decision.

However, Justice John Okoro threw out the appeal following the dramatic withdrawal by the appellant, Margif, upon discovery that the matter had become statute-barred.

Counsel for the appellant, Opeyemi Ojo, had pleaded with the apex court to invoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to take over the matter and resolve all disputed issues in the interest of justice for his client.

The five-man panel of Justices of the court rejected his plea on the ground that the conditions precedent for the court to invoke section 22 of the Supreme Court Act were not met.

Following this, the appellant withdrew his appeal and was subsequently dismissed by Justice Okoro