The Yola division of the Court of Appeal on Friday affirmed Colonel Kefas Agbu (retd) as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba State.
The three-man panel of justices dismissed the appeal brought by Professor Jerome Nyameh challenging the ruling of the Federal High Court, Jalingo, which earlier upheld the primary election that produced Kefas as PDP governorship candidate in Taraba State.
In another judgment by the Appeal Court in the suit filed by Hilkiah Bubajoda Mafindi, one of the governorship aspirants, the court also affirmed Kefas as the PDP governorship candidate and dismissed the appeal brought by the appellant.
Reacting to the judgment, the spokesman of the Agbu Kefas campaign organisation,. Emmanuel Bello said the judgment affirmed their trust in the judiciary and the electoral process.
“The primary that brought Kefas was the best in the history of the state. The lower court upheld this position and today, the Appeal Court has affirmed it.
“We want to assure the people of Taraba State that Kefas is the answer to Taraba’s problems and he will do all that he has promised to do when elected in 2023.”
The Lawyer to Professor Jerome Nyame gave details of the proceedings,
“The case came up for judgment today being 25th November 2022. Out of the 3 Justices of the Court of Appeal that heard the appeal, only Justice Saidu Tanko Husaini JCA was present. Justice Obande Festus Ogbuinya, JCA and Justice Adebukunola I. Banjoko JCA were absent.
“The proceedings of the day was conducted by Justice Saidu Tanko Husaini JCA. He informed the lawyers present that the two justices absent, that is Ogbuinya JCA and Banjoko JCA have a different opinion of the case from his own. He stated that they two justices absent have written their own majority judgment that the case of Prof. Jerome Nyameh is an internal affairs of PDP and will not interfere.
“Justice Saidu Tanko Husaini JCA then read out his own minority opinion stating that:
1.PDP and Kefas clearly violated the Constitution and guidelines of PDP for the primary election which the law permits the Court to intervene.
2.The PDP must abide by its Constitution and guidelines for Primary Election.
3.That Primary Election is a process which starts from buying form, participating in screening before election is conducted.
- That before a person can be allowed to participate in primaries he must have purchased his forms, participated in screening and cleared within the time stated in election time table.
- That the evidence before the Court shows that Kefas did not purchase form and did not participate in screening within the time all other aspirants where allowed to do so.
- That Kefas claims he applied for extension of time by tendering his application letter for extension of time. However, failed to tender the approval letter showing time was extended for him.
- That the failure of Kefas or PDP to tender any letter showing time was extended for Kefas to buy form and participate as special candidate in special screening renders his purported clearance certificate a suspect document.
- That the purported list of aspirants containing the name of Kefas was not signed by anybody or any PDP official which in law the Court does not work with unsigned document.
- That since Kefas did not buy form and did not participate in screening at Bauchi, he is not eligible to participate in the primaries.
- That fresh primaries be conducted within 14 days from today excluding Kefas who is not qualified.
- That however, since the other two justices absent do not agree with him, it means, their view is the judgment of the Court of Appeal subject to appeal to Supreme Court.
- It was the two justices absent at today’s sitting that wrote their opinion in favour of Kefas. Justice Saidu Tanko Husaini JCA who was present gave his opinion in favour of Prof. Jerome Nyameh.
- The judgment of the two justices absent at today’s sitting will now be the subject of Appeal to Supreme Court by Prof. Jerome Nyameh.
- The minority judgment of Justice Saidu Tanko Husaini JCA is in our view the correct position of the law. Thus, Prof. Jerome Nyameh shall be appealing to Supreme Court and asking them to agree with Justice Saidu Tanko Husaini JCA who was present and not the other two justices who though, absent decided in favour of Kefas.
- It will be strongly contended on appeal to Supreme Court that the judgment of Justice Saidu Tanko Husaini JCA present is better than the judgment of the two justices absent and thus, the appeal ought to favour Jerome Nyameh.