Godwin Tsa Abuja
The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday held that Musa Wada was the validly nominated governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election held in Kogi State.
In a unanimous judgment, the appellate court set aside the judgment of the trial court which nullified the September 3 and 4, 2019 governorship primaries conducted by the PDP.
Wada had approached the appellate court in his appeal marked CA/A/193/2020 questioning the decision of the trial court given by Justice R.O. Olorunfemi of the Kogi state High Court, which held that the PDP did not have a candidate for the election.
Delivering its judgment, a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal held that “it is crooked colt of discretion for a court to raise an issue suo motu (raising issues that were not raised by any of the parties in the litigation) and determine same without hearing parties.
The panel of Justices led by Justice Ibrahim Muhammad Saulawa and comprising Justices Joseph E. Ekanen and Yasir Nimpar, equally set aside every order made by the trial cour to the effect that there was no primary election by PDP in the state and that the appellant was not a candidate in the election.
“Every order made by the trial court that there was no primary election and that the appellant was not a candidate in the election is hereby set aside”, the court held.
Abubakar Idris, also of the PDP had on September 27, 2019, approached Kogi State High Court to challenge the outcome of the primary election conducted on September 3 and 4, 2019 in the state in which Engineer Musa Wada won, on the ground that he, Abubakar idris won the primary instead.
The trial court presiding Judge, Justice R O Olorunfemi, dismissed the claim and held that he did not substantiate his claim.
But rather than end the judgment there, the trial judge proceeded to hold that PDP did not have candidate in the last election in Kogi State.
Aggrieved by the decision of the court, Wada filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal through his lawyer, Mr. Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), challenging the judgment, on the ground amongst others, that the trial judge did not have jurisprudence to grant reliefs not sought before him.
The Court however allowed the appeal which sought to prove that PDP did presented a candidate in the last election in the state.