Sunday Ejike – Abuja
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division has declared David Jimkuta, as the validly elected candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the forthcoming Taraba South Senatorial District election.
A 3-member panel of Justices of the appellate court consequently set aside the decision of the Federal High Court sitting Jalingo, which dismissed Jimkuta’s suit challenging his substitution with the name of Danjuma Shiddi.
Delivering judgment on Wednesday, Justice Hamman Barka held that the primary election that produced Jimkuta was conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC and was valid in accordance with the relevant laws.
The panel held that only the NWC of the APC has the powers, rights, and vires to conduct a valid primary election for the party.
Jimkuta had won the APC primary election for Taraba South but was wrongfully substituted by his party with Hon. Danjuma Shiddi.
Dissatisfied over his substitution, Jimkuta headed to the Federal High Court in Jalingo to seek redress, having won the party’s primary election with 170 votes while Shiddi polled 80 votes.
He had prayed the court to declare him the winner of the primary election and stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Shiddi, who came a distant second, as the APC Senatorial candidate for the Taraba South.
In the originating summons, Jimkuta had claimed he won the primary elections by polling the highest number of votes cast which was 170, as against his opponent’s 80 votes.
Reacting to the judgement, Jimkuta thanked the judiciary for restoring his mandate, saying “it was a victory for democracy, the people of Taraba South and the entire APC family.
Jimkuta appealed to his opponents to sheath their swords and join hands with him to work towards victory for the party at the polls.