Nuhu Ribadu, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), on Monday said he accepted the ruling of the Appeal Court in the controversial governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State.
Mr Ribadu, in a letter addressed to the state’s acting chairman of the APC in Adamawa, said he will not challenge the decision of the Appeal Court in Yola, which set aside a High Court ruling nullifying the primaries that produced Aishatu Binani as the governorship candidates of the party in the state.
The senator representing Adamawa Central, Aishatu Binani, has emerged as the governorship candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the court, on Thursday, ordered that the name of Mrs Binani be forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as APC governorship candidate of Adamawa state.
Mr Ribadu, who had earlier challenged the judgement of the Appeal Court, said he has, however, decided to allow the status quo to remain, in the interest of the party and its unity.
Following Mr Ribadu’s challenge of the primary over alleged irregularities, a Federal High Court in Yola nullified the election.
The court held that the primary was not in compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act, the nation’s constitution, and the party guidelines.
The judge said the nomination of Mrs Binani was in clear contravention of Section 85 of the Electoral Act because there was “manifest overvoting” during the primary.
The trial judge, Abdulaziz Anka, also declined a plea for the party to hold a fresh primary election.
“My findings are that there’s non-compliance to the Electoral Act, as well as party guidelines and the constitution because there was manifest overvoting, which has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” the newspaper quoted the judge as saying.
“The first defendant (APC) cannot field a candidate for the 2023 general elections; the primary election is invalid, and the court, therefore, sees the return of Aishatu Ahmed Binani as unlawful. The plea for fresh elections is hereby refused,” the judge added.
The Appeal Court, however, set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to list Mrs Binani as the substantive candidate of the party.
Read the full statement below:
ON THE COURT OF APPEAL JUDGEMENT ON THE ADAMAWA APC GOVERNORSHIP TICKET
As you are aware, the Court of Appeal had given its judgment on the dispute arising from our governorship primaries, which went against the prayers we made in the suit I instituted. Since then, I have been in consultation with my family, political associates and party leaders at different levels on the next step.
In addition, I have reflected deeply on my mission in politics, especially my aspiration for the Adamawa governorship. My motivation in aspiring to govern the state is for an opportunity to serve my dear state as my contribution to a more purposeful future for the state.
It was a project started at the instance of well-meaning friends and associates who prodded me with the belief that I have the experience and wherewithal that could be of tremendous help to leapfrog the development of our state.
I want to use this opportunity to thank those well-wishers and my teeming supporters who sacrificed a lot and offered unflinching support for the tremendous goodwill and immense support I received from them over the years.
This is my second attempt to pick the ticket for our party. In 2019 I offered myself but missed the opportunity to become the candidate of my party. It is however on record that to show the good spirit of sportsmanship and protect the interest of my party, the APC, I buried the hatchet to work for the person who picked the ticket and supported him to the end, despite the opposition against that stance from some of my supporters.
I decided to give it another shot this time around, driven by the same motive. At the end of the governorship primaries, held on May 26, 2022, our agents reported clear cases of breach of law and irregularities.
This fact was confirmed by the reports of the Police, INEC and the Appeal Committee of the party, but no internal redress came forth. It was for this reason that we approached the court to seek justice.
The Federal High Court agreed with us, but it decided to declare that the party had no candidate, which was not what we prayed for. In its judgment, the Court of Appeal, however, reinstated the candidate declared winner of the primaries. We disagree with the judgment but I have no intention of dragging this any further.
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I have decided to allow the status quo to remain for the larger interest of the party and its unity.
As a true party man, I call on all my supporters to not despair but to remain faithful to our party. We should not let any setback affect our enthusiasm and support for our great party. I call on all my supporters to support all our candidates.
I also specifically express my deep appreciation to the state leadership of the party under your leadership for the support and encouragement and urge you all to remain steadfast in the service of our party.
Accept my best wishes and respect.
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