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Borno pre-election: Appeal Court reserves judgment in suit challenging APC governor-elect

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The Court of Appeal in Jos on Tuesday reserved judgement in the appeal challenging the nominations of Borno Governor-elect Prof. Babagana Umara and Senator Abubakar Kyari both of All Progressive Congress.
Alhaji Idris Mamman-Gatumbwa and Hajia Fatima Alkali-Monguno separately filled a petition before Justice U. Onyemenam led justices of the Appellate Court, seeking it to upturn the judgment of  Federal High Court, which okayed the nomination of Umara and Kyari as APC governorship and Borno North senatorial District candidates for the 2019 general elections.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Jude Dakat of Borno Federal High Court, had dismissed the petitions of the appellants for lack of merit.
Dakat had, in that judgment held that the petitions lacked merit on the grounds that they were filed out of the 14 days grace to challenge any discrepancy during party primaries as stipulated by the electoral act.
Counsel for the appellants, Ibrahim Bawa, SAN, approached the Appellate court to upturn the judgment of the Lower Court, praying it to look into the merit of the case and order the party to do the needful in accordance with the law.
Bawa said: “My Lord, in our originating summons, we pray the court to upturn the decision of the Lower Court, which failed to look at the merit of cases and dismissed our case for lacking in merit.”
Bawa further stated that the lower court was wrong to declare that “we were out of the 14 days”.
He went on point out that Section 87 of the Electoral Act, holds that primaries not properly conducted should be nullified.
He prayed the Appellate court to allow the appeals.
But counsel to APC, Yusuf Ali, SAN, raised a preliminary Objection, challenging the two appeals.
He prayed a the Court to dimiss the appeals for lacking in merit.
Ali argued that there was no point for the Appellate court to entertain the appeals, having failed to meet up with the 14 days as stipulated by law.
He argued: “The trial court had lost its jurisdiction because they were filed out of time and couldn’t make any pronouncement on them.
“Your Lordship at the Appellate court can’t step into the shoes is the lower court considering section 5 of the Constitution and make any pronouncement on the merit of the cases.
“I hereby urge your Lordships to dismiss the appeals.”
After listening to all the argument, Justices of the Appellate court declared that judgment over the two appeals “are hereby reserved”.

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