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Abacha, Bashir missing on INEC’s final governorship list in Kano

A Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, yesterday, cleared the way for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to field a candidate for Abia Central Senatorial District as it dismissed the suit filed by Hon. Sam Onuigbo, challenging the candidacy of Hon Emeka Atuma.

Onuigbo, who represents Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency in the National Assembly had gone to court claiming that he won the Abia Central primary election conducted on May 28/29 and his name was not submitted to INEC by APC.

But Justice Evelyn Anyadike, in her judgment, held that Onuigbo failed to tender any “valid result” to prove that he actually won the senatorial primary for Abia Central.

The court also faulted Onuigbo’s claim that the primary was inconclusive on May 28 and was rescheduled for May 29 during which he emerged victorious.

However, in resolving the issue of whether the plaintiff had actually won the primary, the court held that since the exercise, as admitted by Onuigbo, was inconclusive on May 28,there could not have been a winner.

Justice Anyadike, therefore, held that “it is unpardonable and fatal to his case” for the plaintiff (Onuigbo) to have failed to produce a genuine result sheet as evidence that he won the primary.

The judge further held that it was equally fatal for the plaintiff to have failed to produce evidence to show that the inconclusive senatorial primary was rescheduled and conducted on May 29, 2022.

According to Justice Anyadike, the plaintiff didn’t have any locus to challenge the national leadership of APC for not submitting his name to INEC since he did not tender any valid result of the rescheduled primary, which he claimed he won.

The court, consequently, rejected a result tendered by the plaintiff dated May 28, 2022 on the ground that the senatorial primary was inconclusive on that very day hence there was no winner, which necessitated a rescheduling of the exercise.

“His (plaintiff) claims have crumbled like a pack of cards and his case failed for lack of evidence and is hereby dismissed,” the Judge said in the verdict.

In its defence of the case, the party had held that its Abia Central senatorial candidate for 2023, Hon Atuma, was validly nominated having won in the rescheduled primary conducted by the party on June 7, 2022 at Chidiebere Park field, Umuahia.

In a related development, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, released the final list of candidates for the Kano State governorship race with the name of Muhammad Sani Abacha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party’s candidate, Bashir Ishaq Bashir, missing on the list.

The list pasted at the Commission’s complex has also put to an end, the controversy surrounding who was the genuine candidate of the PDP in the state with Sadiq Wali making the final list.

Mohammed Abacha had claimed he was the genuine gubernatorial candidate of the party.

But, in his reaction, Bashir said there was no cause for alarm, and expressed confidence that he would make it to the ballot by the time the electoral umpire published the final list.

He called on his supporters to remain calm, adding: “There is nothing to lose sleep over. The INEC list is work-in-progress, and we are confident we will make the final list.”

In the lists pasted at the Kano office of INEC, Mr Shaaban Ibrahim Sharada made it as the governorship candidate of ADP, while Aishatu Mahmud emerged as the only female governorship on the platform of NRM.

Governorship candidate of APC, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna and Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf of NNPP appeared along with their running mates.