8th February, 2012
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday adjourned till Tuesday 27 February to deliver judgment in a suit instituted by Alhaji Ayinla Kolawole Jimoh, challenging the election of former governor of Kwara State, Dr Bukola Saraki, as the Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
At today’s proceedings, parties in the suit adopted their written addresses, after which the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta adjourned to decide whether Saraki is the authentic candidate of the PDP for last year’s senatorial election in Kwara State.
Alhaji Jimoh, a Second Republic governorship candidate of the Peoples Republican Party, PRP, dragged the former governor alongside the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to court over claims that he and not the former governor won the party’s primary election for Kwara Central Senatorial District and ought to be the one representing that senatorial district at the upper legislative chamber.
The legal battle over the senatorial district between Senator Saraki and Alhaji Jimoh over who was the actual candidate of the party shifted from Kwara state to the Federal High Court in Abuja soon after the elections were conducted.
Alhaji Jimoh claims that as at the time of collecting and submitting of the nomination forms for the senatorial election, Saraki was a presidential contestant and that Saraki’s election as the PDP senatorial candidate for the senatorial district at the re-run of the party primary election held in Ilorin, on January 29, 2011, was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
He is also seeking to restrain the PDP from authenticating, recognising, or accepting the result of the re-run primary election and the nomination of the former governor as the PDP senatorial candidate for the Kwara Central Senatorial District.
Jimoh told the court that he paid for, and was duly issued with the nomination form to seek nomination as the PDP senatorial candidate in the district, adding that apart from him, that Gold Sola Isiaka from Ilorin-West of the Kwara-Central SEnatorial District was also screened and cleared to contest the primaries of the party.
He stated that only he and Isiaka contested the party’s ticket at the primary elections held on 7 January 2011, at the end of which he was credited with 12 votes while Isiaka was credited with 1,064 votes and Isiaka was accordingly declared the winner.
Furthermore, Jimoh said that while at home on Friday, 28 January 2011, the secretary of the Kwara State PDP, Yekini Ilobu, brought him a letter from the state chapter of the party, stating that Mr. Isiaka, the elected senatorial candidate of the party had withdrawn and a proposed re-run election was slated for 29 January 2011.
He said that at the re-run primary election, Saraki and Yunus AbdulRahaman were listed as the aspirants.
He argued that by the result of the re-run election, Dr Saraki was declared the winner with over 1,000 votes and the result was sent to INEC which received and acted on same, adding that the conduct of the PDP in accepting and adopting Saraki and, or any person other than himself as the senatorial candidate is against the spirit of internal democracy and democratic governance.
—Nnamdi Felix / Abuja