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Court sacks Bwacha as Taraba APC guber candidate

Court sacks Bwacha as Taraba APC guber candidate
November 15
18:02 2022

A federal high court in Abuja has ordered the All Progressives Congress (APC) to conduct fresh primary in Taraba state within 14 days.

In a judgment delivered on Tuesday, Obiora Egwuatu, the presiding judge, nullified the Taraba APC governorship primary held on May 26 which produced Emmanuel Bwacha as its candidate for the 2023 general election.

Yusuf Yusuf, senator representing Taraba central, who was also a governorship aspirant in the primary, instituted a suit against Bwacha, the APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Ibrahim Bawa, counsel to the plaintiff, submitted that no primary held in Taraba.

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According to him, the APC announced that it would conduct direct primaries in only three states and Taraba was not part of the three.

“The first defendant confirmed that direct primaries will be conducted in Taraba only after the primaries were conducted,” he said.

He also claimed that even though the appeal panel set up to hear complaints agreed that no primary was held, the defendants were not pleased with the report, and they insisted that the report be reviewed.

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“The purported review was not signed by members of the committee. This court is empowered to compare the signatures on documents before it,” the plaintiff’s counsel said.

Bawa also notified the court of another judgment by a federal high court in Jalingo which nullified the election and ordered a fresh primary.

However, Festus Idepefo, counsel for the APC, submitted that the issue litigated upon in Jalingo is different from the current case.

“The plaintiff in the Taraba case said that the notice given to him for the election was too short, so he did not have time to prepare for it,” he said.

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“The plaintiff, in this case, is alleging that there was no election.”

He also told the court that sufficient evidence has been tendered to counter the submission of the plaintiff that no primary was held.

“The issue formulated by the plaintiff is that no election was conducted at all. In response to this allegation, we have exhibited the results of the elections in all 168 wards in Taraba showing the number of registered voters,” he said.

“We have also exhibited the INEC report issued in each local government area of Taraba.

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“In a situation like this, we will expect the plaintiff to exhibit voters who were disenfranchised but no such exhibit is before the court.”

Idepefo also argued that the plaintiff failed to prove the allegation of forgery regarding the committee report.

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However, the court, in its judgment, sacked Bwacha and ordered that a fresh primary be conducted.

Meanwhile, a federal high court in Jalingo, on Friday, sacked Bwacha from the senate for defecting to the APC.

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Simon Amobeda, the judge, held that the mandate in the senate belongs to the PDP and not the APC as he was elected on the platform of the PDP.

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