Labour Party Appeals Kano Court Judgement On Abia, Others

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The Labour Party has appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano, presided over by Justice M N Yunusa, which declared all the votes cast for LP candidates in Kano and Abia States as wasted votes.

Recall that one Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim had sued the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), seeking reliefs targeted at nullifying the votes of LP candidates at the 2023 poll.

The applicant also urged the high court to set aside the Certificate of Return issued to all LP candidates and direct INEC to return the first runner up in all places LP won.

Justice M N Yunusa had declared all LP votes in Kano and Abia states as “wasted votes” citing the party’s failure to submit its membership register to the INEC within 30 days before the commencement of their primaries.

“The party that has not complied with the provisions of the electoral act cannot be said to have candidate in an election and cannot be declared winner of an election; this being so, the votes credited to the 1st defendant is a wasted vote,” the Judge ruled but declined to order issuance of Certificate of Return to anyone in Abia state adding that “the parties that participated in Abia state are not parties before this court.”

But in an appeal entered by LP counsel, Umeh Kalu SAN on May 22, the appellant urged the court to set aside the judgment of the trial court.

Listing the grounds of his appeal, Kalu held that “trial court erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it entertained the suit which was bereft of any course of action.”

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He argued that Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution vested exclusive jurisdiction on Election Tribunals to entertain complaints on the participation of candidates and votes garnered by candidates at the general election.

He further contended that the 1999 Constitution limited the time to challenge a political party primaries to 14 days after the outcome had been declared.

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