Tom Garba

Adamawa Politics in the eyes of the Law, a replicate of Zamfara political history is possible

…..APC, PDP may loss power to a weaker political Party

By Tom Garba

It’s the emergence of intriguing happenings in the Adamawa state political scene, with full glares of the winners having their celebration of victory.

To the winners of All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa whose party have conducted their Primaries and winners emerged. In APC Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani is the supposed winner, while in PDP, the incumbent sitting Governor, Rt Hon Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri got the ticket in a lone contest. He polled 663 of the 668 votes, with five of the votes declared void.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) had Dr. Umar Ardo as the party’s flag bearer to fly the governorship ticket. And Ibrahim Baba Inna of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) got the party’s ticket. While parties like NNPP and others are yet to decide who will fly the ticket to the governorship election.

Binani won the primaries with 430 votes and two cases of overvoting were reported during the declaration of the result. For this, the 2022 election act has invalidated the whole process. The act stipulated that:

“No member shall vote for more than one aspirant and where the vote cast exceeds the number of accredited voters, the election shall be declared void by the ward electoral/returning officer on behalf of the electoral committee and the exercise may be repeated.”

It is on this premise, however, Adamawa former Speaker and a Lawyer by profession, who has represented the federal Constituency of Fofure/Song in the national assembly, Rt Hon Sadiq Ibrahim Dasin said the overvoting of 2 votes does not change the winning status of Senator Aishatu Binani.

Dasin argued that as much as the Guidelines provide that voting invalidates the election in law. But there is what is called “de minimis les curate lex” which is the legal principle that the law is not concerned with insignificant or minor matters.

According to him, the overvoting is so insignificant as to change the outcome of the election, the two votes recorded as overvoting would, at worst, be deducted from the votes scored by the winner. And if the 2 votes are deducted, Binani still wins.

“So I don’t think people should bother themselves with the issue at all. Besides the Guidelines even says it is the Electoral officer that would declare the election void and he didn’t do it.” He said.

In a contrary opinion, however, a constitutional Lawyer, Barrister Gabriel Adiukwu said Dasin should not presume to be an officer in charge of the law and that Binani is still the winner of the APC primaries going by the same 2022 electoral act.

Gabriel said is a matter of litigation and interpretation of the act that clearly stated that any case of this magnitude should be made none and void in its worst-case scenario or a repeat of the exercise may be declared.

“The APC primary election that produces Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani as the flag bearer of the party will have to be cancelled on the ground of the alledge over voting if same is proven.

“The alledge over voting will only result in the cancellation of the entire result of the primary election and not disqualification of any of the Aspirants.” Gabriel said

In the PDP party of which Ahmadu was declared the winner of the election. His lone contest was before a court injunction and order instituted by Ambassador Jameel Waziri that the primaries should not hold because of his illegal disqualification and denying him the right to be part of the exercise. Going ahead with the primaries to have produced Ahmadu as a PDP candidate is a court contempt in the eyes of the law. It’s known that the case hearing is scheduled for 6th June but Adamawa PDP went ahead and conducted the primaries

So shall there be a ruling by a court of competent jurisdiction that the PDP primaries were none and void because of the disqualification complaint instituted by Jameel, the exercise stand to suffer the same fate of no candidate like APC.

The two governorship primaries of the major political parties in Adamawa state ended up with much demand for the law to explain the gap created thereafter.

Courtesy of Law, Zamfara history may replicate itself in Adamawa. Where there are no genuine candidates in APC or PDP. Parties with no controversies in producing their candidates may end up deciding the next Governor of Adamawa State.

SDP and PRP whose primaries were conducted and no legal issues raised may end up standing in the gap to address the Laconic created by PDP and APC of illegalities in their primaries.

Like the case of Zamfara state, Adamawa state is now in the eyes of the law to answer and address many of the questions bugging the minds of its indigenous.

In Zamfara fore instance Muktar Idris was at first, issued the certificate of return, however, the court of appeal in Sokoto ordered that the INEC should withdraw the certificate.

The Supreme Court later pronounced that the votes cast for the APC in the election as wasted and ordered that the candidate with the second highest votes be sworn in on. This is because the APC failed to conduct primaries election for all the candidates in Zamfara State.

Tom Garba, FIMC, FBDFM, SPSP
Is a Journalist, a political analyst, and an opinion writer. He writes from Yola-Adamawa State. He can be reached through this means;tomgarba5@gmail.com
08172570959

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