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Aspirants sue parties over primary election results in FCT

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Cyril Mbah, Abuja

Two aggrieved aspirants, who contested the chairmanship candidacy of their parties in the last primary elections in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory [FCT], have filed petitions in court challenging the results of the elections conducted in April 2021 and the candidates adopted by political parties as their flag-bearers.
In separate originating summons issued by Federal High Courts in Abuja, copies of which were obtained by Orient Weekend, Hassaan Gimba Zakari of the People’s Democratic Party [PDP] sued the PDP, INEC, Alhaji Aminu Musa and John Gabaya Shekwogaza claiming that they manipulated the electoral process to favour preferred aspirants in the elections.
The affidavit backing the summons, which was filed in the court by M. A. Ebute [SAN], listed the four personalities as defendant/respondents and claimed that as parties in the congress, they willingly and deliberately excluded the applicant from the congress even when he submitted every document demanded from him by the primary election screening committee.
Hassaan Gimba Zakari also claimed that the first defendant, John Gabaya Shekwogaza was not competent or qualified to contest the primaries after knowingly submitting fictitious educational documents contrary to sections 106, 107 and 31[5] of the electoral Act 2010, as amended.
The originating summons claimed further that even the vice chairmanship aspirant chosen by the defendants also made fictitious claims about his qualifications and was therefore not eligible to contest elections as provided by the quoted amended passages of the electoral act.
In his prayer, the applicant, Hassaan Gimba Zakari of the People’s Democratic Party [PDP) in the affidavit in support of his claims, urged the court to declare that the presentation of Hon. John Gabaya Shekwogaza as the flag-bearer of the party was illegal, null and void because he did not meet the conditions spelt out by the electoral act as amended.
In the other case, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdul of the All Progressives Congress [APC] has equally sued the party, the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] and Alhaji Audi Haruna Shekwolo accusing the defendants of stealing the mandate given to him by the electorate and in the process depriving the people of their preferred representation.
In the affidavit in support of the claims filed in another High Court in Abuja, the APC aspirant also alleged that the defendant and his running mate filed forged educational documents with the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] to enable them contest the 2022 FCT chairmanship election and were fraudulently admitted as the flag-bearers of the party in Bwari Area Council.
The defendant was equally alleged to have contested for the primaries without first resigning his position as a civil servant in Bwari Area Council.
Alhaji Ibrahim Abdul of the All Progressives Congress [APC] prayed the court, on account of the declarations/statements made by the defendants, to declare that the defendants were not qualified to contest the primaries or to be adopted as the flag-bearers of the party for Bwari Area Council.
No date has been fixed for hearing although the two cases were filed July 23, 2021 before the courts in the FCT went on annual break.

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