Nigeria

Court clears ex-Taraba acting governor to contest 2023 election

A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo, Taraba State, on Friday, nullified a court order barring a former acting governor of Taraba State, Senator Sani Abubakar Danladi, from participating in electoral activities in the country.

Justice Simon Amobeda in the ruling nullified a previous order of the court dated March 6, 2019, disqualifying Senator Danladi, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from participating in the 2019 governorship election and other elections in the state.

The court had in 2019 disqualified Danladi as then-candidate of the APC from participating in the March 9, 2019, Taraba governorship election. The court had barred Danladi for allegedly falsifying his age in the documents he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the time.

But Justice Amobeda in his ruling on Friday reaffirmed that the court has a jurisdiction to set aside its earlier judgement and by virtue of the plaintiff’s supporting documents, which qualify him to participate in any form of elections.

The presiding judge referred to a case of Supreme Court Vs Dingyadi, INEC Vs Okoro Ugwuanyi, and Kogi State Vs INEC.

The judgement reads thus: “whether the Federal High Court has a jurisdiction to set aside its earlier judgement on certificate issues, the presiding judge continues by defining the concept of what jurisdiction is;

“He defines jurisdiction in law as the ability to decide or re-decide its decision.”

He further affirmed that the court of law has jurisdiction to set aside its earlier judgement or make another decision if there is a hole in the earlier judgement.

The presiding judge ruled that “the application by the defendant’s counsel lacks the merits to prove whether the earlier judgement will be set aside, therefore the case was a pre-election matter and this court shouldn’t have attended the case, and the supreme court in its earlier judgement of 2019 has been set aside.

Counsel to the plaintiff (Danladi), Barr David Kashima, said the judgment was a victory for the rule of law, adding that his client does not have any encumbrance from participating in political activities in the country.

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