The crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deepened on Monday with the Supreme Court dismissing an appeal filed before it on the nomination of the party’s governorship candidate.
The Apex Court consequently ordered that the suit instituted by a governorship aspirant, Jimi Lawal, be remitted to the Federal High Court for a fresh trial.
Justice Ibrahim Saulawa in a judgment in the appeal of the PDP held that the Federal High Court was wrong in declining jurisdiction in the matter of Jimi Lawal.
The Apex Court agreed with the Court of Appeal in Abuja that the FHC had jurisdiction under Section 285 of the 1999 constitution and Section 84 (14) of the Electoral Act 2022 to hear the matter of Lawal on its merit.
The Supreme Court therefore ordered that the case be remitted to the Chief Judge of the FHC, Justice John Tsoho, in Abuja for determination by another Judge other than Justice Taiwo Taiwo who refused to entertain the suit.
Justice Saulawa, in a unanimous judgment of a five-man panel of the Apex Court, ordered that the FHC must speedily hear the case of Lawal against Oladipupo Adebutu and the PDP within time allowed by law.
Jimi Lawal who contested the May 25 governorship primary election of the PDP had challenged the emergence of Adebutu alleging that the unlawful delegates list was used by the party to conduct the election.
Among others, Lawal had prayed that the purported primary election of may 25 be cancelled and another be conducted with the authentic ad hoc delegates.
However, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the FHC in his judgment delivered on July 29 declined to hear the suit of Jimi Lawal on merit on the grounds that the primary election was a domestic affair of any political party and dismissed the suit.
But not satisfied, Lawal approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja with a prayer that the decision of the FHC be voided and set aside on the ground of miscarriage of justice.
A three-man panel of justices of the Appeal Court in their judgment delivered on September 30 agreed with Jimi Lawal, set aside the judgment of the FHC and ordered that the suit be heard on its merit..
The PDP, not satisfied with the decision of the Appeal Court, approached the Supreme Court, praying that the judgment of the FHC be upheld to the effect that the conduct of the primary election was its domestic affair.
But Justice Saulawa disagreed with the PDP, holding that by virtue of Section 285 of the 1999 constitution and Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022, the Federal High Court had power to hear the case of Jimi Lawal.
The Apex Court proceeded with an order to the Chief Judge of the FHC to reassign the case to another judge for retrial on its merit.
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.