The People’s Redemption Party has filed a lawsuit against the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, the former chief of the air staff, Sadique Abubakar, and others over their claimed illegitimate nominations for the general elections of 2023.
The PRP filed the petition through its attorney, Chris Udeoyibo, and is a component of the prayers being asked for in three different lawsuits.
The party is requesting that the governor, ex-Air Chief, and Senator Haliru Jika be disqualified from running in the state’s governorship election in 2023 on the particular grounds of claimed double nominations from their respective political parties by the Federal High Court of Abuja.
In the lawsuits, the plaintiff alleges that Jika, the candidate for the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Shehu Musa, and Bala Mohammed, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), breached the Electoral Act by allegedly indulging in double nomination.
The PRP claims that Mohammed violated Section 177(c) of the Constitution as well as Sections 84(13) and 115(d) of the Electoral Act 2022 by participating as a candidate in the PDP’s presidential primary on May 28, 2022, and then in the PDP’s governorship primary in Bauchi State on June 4, 2022.
In particular, it asks the court to prevent Mohammed from parading himself as the PDP candidate for the governorship election and to prevent INEC from recognising him as such in the next general elections.
The PRP governorship candidate in Bauchi State, Ahmed Umar Farouk, claimed in a supporting affidavit that INEC should be prevented from allowing Mohammed and his party to participate in the upcoming election because he participated in both primaries and “signed two nomination papers or result forms in respect of two different constituencies at the same time in violation of Section 177(c) of the Constitution as well as sections 84 (13) and 115 (d) of the Electoral Act 2022.”
Farouk stated that no legislation permits a candidate, including Mohammed, to sign two nomination papers or results forms simultaneously and during the same election period for the presidential and gubernatorial primaries, which are two constituencies, in the general elections of 2023.
The PRP further requests that the court rule against Abubakar and Musa’s eligibility run for governor and deputy governor, respectively, in the next governorship election on behalf of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
By reportedly taking part in the APC’s House of Representative’s primary on May 28, 2022, which he won, and the governorship primary on June 4, 2022, where he was nominated as the deputy governorship candidate, the PRP claimed that Musa had violated the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
It also requests that the court nullify Jika’s nomination as the NNPP’s candidate for governor because he was not an authorised party member at the time of his nomination. Jika currently represents the Bauchi Central Senatorial District.
Jika was said to have participated in the May 26 governorship primary of the APC in Bauchi State, which was won by Abubakar but later defected to the NNPP to pick the governorship ticket.
In a supporting affidavit, the PRP claimed that Jika’s name could not have been on the list of NNPP members, which the party is required to submit to INEC 30 days before its primary election, because Jika was a registered member of the APC in the Kafin Madaki ward, Ganjuwa Local Government, Bauchi State, at the time the APC held its primary.
The suits are yet to be assigned for hearing.