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SENATOR KABIRU GARBA MARAFA & ORS v. SANUSI LIMAN DAN ALHAJI & ORS

(2019) LPELR-47012(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Monday, the 25th day of March, 2019

CA/S/32/19


Before Their Lordships

TOM SHAIBU YAKUBU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

TIJJANI ABUBAKAR Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

JAMILU YAMMAMA TUKUR Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. SENATOR KABIRU GARBA MARAFA
2. ALH SIRAJO GARBA
3. ALH MUHAMMAD JIMA
4. YAKUBU MUKHTAR
5. BELLO ABUABAKAR
6. ZUBAIRU MUSA B.
7. ALH HAMZA TUKUR
8. AUWALU ALHAZAI
9. NASIRU MOHAMMED FARU
10. HON ALH SALISU AMINU
11. SA'IDU BARE BARI
12. UMAR HASHIMU
13. ALH SANI GOBIRAWA
14. ALH SANI GYARE KADAURI
15. ALH MUSA SAMARU
16. ALH ABDULLAHI NAHUCE
17. BASHAR ABDULLAHI
18. ADAMU RABIU TSIKAU
19. SHAFI'I MUSA
20. ABUBAKAR UMAR
21. MOHAMMED SANI
22. BUHARI ABDULLAHI
23. JUNAIDU MOHAMMED
24. AMINU ABUBAKAR WUYA
25. AHMAD S/ASKI
26. YUSUF BABAN RAGO
27. SARKI NA YALWA
28. ZAYYANU DAHIRU
29. LAWAL DAN MALIKI
30. BELLO SHEHU
31. DAN MALIKI
32. UMMARU BUZU
33. AISHA BALA
34. UMAR SHUAIBU
35. DAN JA'O RINI
36. LAWALI MOHAMMAD YARGEDA
37. SHUGABA DA AIKI
38. ALH HAMISU MAI AIKI
39. MURTAL A. MANDE
40. MAMUDA SADA
41. ALH HASSAN ABDULLAHI
42. ALH BELLO MAI YARMAKA
43. ABUABAKAR KOKARI
44. ALH BELLO D/UMMA
45. ALH IBRAHIM IMAM
46. ALH IBRAHIM
47. SHEHU UMAR
48. MUSA DOGO
49. SANI BATURE
50. HASSAN GARBA ZUBU
51. JABIR UMAR
52. SHAHU TAJA
53. MALAMI SULAIMAN
54. ABUBAKAR BAWA
55. SANI BATURE
56. ABUBAKAR MUH'D
57. ALH SANAMILA M GIDA
58. SANI A DAHIRU
59. SANI BALA SANKALAWA
60. ALH AMINU KURAR MOTA
61. ALH DANYABO WAZOJI
62. UMARU ABDULLAHI
63. ALH ISAH MAIDAJI
64. ABUBAKAR AHMAD JAURI
65. GARBA SARKIN RUWA
66. MUSA LABBO GAMO
67. AUWALI ALIYU
68. BELLO IBRAHIM
69. SAYYADI ABUBAKAR
70. BELLO USMAN
71. YUNUSA USMAN
72. BELLO S/YAMMA
73. DAHIRU ABDULLAHI
74. RABIU HAMZA
75. SHEHU HALIDU
76. MUSA LUMU GYALANGE
77. ALH ISAH DAN LARABAWA
78. ALH LAWALI JIKA
79. ABDUL'AZIZ BARAU MALAM ZA
80. USMAN MUHAMMAD ALTINE
81. SURAJO MUHAMMAD
82. KHALID BUHARI
83. ANAS ABUBAKAR
84. RABI'I SHUGABA
85. JAMILU MUHAMMAD
86. BALA SABO
87. YUSUF ADAMU
88. MALLAM FALALU MATOYA
89. ALIYU MUH'D S/GARI
90. SULAIMAN BALA
91. BELLO BARAU
92. SANI DAN ABU
93. ALIYU S/FAWA
94. DAHIRU HALILU
95. ATTO USUMAN
96. SALISU SAMAILA
97. UMARU MALLAN MAGAMI
98. DAHIRU ZAKARI
99. BASHAR MOHAMMED
100. SALE MOH'D DANBA'U
101. LAWALI DAN MAIGORO
102. MAL. IDRIS MUSA
103. ABUBAKAR 'YARRUWA
104. TUKUR LUNGUFARU
105. ALIYU MAI MAI
106. HASSAN AHMAD
107. YUNUSA ABDULLAHI
108. ALH IBRAHIM NA KATSALLE
109. ATTAHIRU RABIU
110. SAHABI DANDA
111. ABDULLAHI USMAN
112. SAMAILA SANI BINGI
113. ALH DANJUMMA MAFI
114. ALH SADO GARBA
115. LAWALI BALA
116. ALH SHEHU ABI
117. MANU NA TA'ALA
118. GADO MAI MODI
119. ABDURRAHMAN SHINGE
120. WAKKALA KARINGUGA
121. ANARUWANATA KWAIRE
122. SURAJO AHMAD
123. YA'U NAMA
124. ALH SADIKU KATURU
125. AKILU SULAIMAN
126. ALH ISAH BAKAWI
127. ALH GARBA DAN ILA
128. RABIU IBRAHIM
129. SANI MUSA
130. ALH GARBA WANKE
131. SARKIN PAWA DAN ABU
132. ALH MAMMAN NA'ISA
133. ALH SAHABI KILLUTU
134. BARA'U ALIYU
135. MAL DAYYABU ALARAMA
136. ALH ABDULKADIR LIMAN
137. ALH ABDULSALAM ABUBAKAR
138. ALIYU SAYYADI
139. SULE MUHAMMAD
140. AMADU SARKIN
(For themselves and all other aspirants/candidates who paid prescribed fees for procurement of Nomination forms for purpose of contesting the 1st Defendant's 147 Nos. Ward Executive Committee, 14 Nos. Local Government Executive Committees and State Executive Committee Election held on 5th, 12th and 19th June 2018 in Zamfara State, but were wrongly excluded or prevented from participating by voting or being voted for). - Appellant(s)

AND

1. SANUSI LIMAN DAN ALHAJI
2. ALHAJI BABANGIDA ABDULLAHI
3. KABIRU MANDE CHAFE, CHAIRMAN APC TSAFE L. G (Suing for themselves and on behalf of all State APC Members)
4. MUKHTAR SHEHU IDRISS
5. HON. IKIRA ALIYU BILBIS
6. HON. TIJJANI YAHAYA KAURA
7. HON. ABDUL-AZIZ YARI ABUBAKAR
8. HON. SANUSI GARBA RIKIJI
9. HON. ABDULMALIK ZUBAIRU
10. HON. HUSSAINI ABUBAKAR MORIKI
11. HON. IBRAHIM MUH'D B/MAGAJI
12. HON. MUTTAKA MUH'D RINI
13. HON. AHMAD SHARU ANKA
14. HON. UMARU JIBO BUKKUYUM
15. HON. MUSTAPHA GADO ANKA
16. HON. MUH'D SANI AHMAD SANI
17. HON. KABIRU MOYI B/MAGAJI
18. HON. YAHAYA JIBRIL BUKKUYUM
19. HON. TUKUR MUH'D DANTASAWA
20. HON. IBRAHIM MUH'D K/KOSHI
21. HON. YAKUBU IBRAHIM NABATURE
22. HON. ALIYU MUH'D GAYERI
23. HON. ALIYU MUH'D FALALE
24. HON. SANUSI MUH'D LIMAN
25. HON. DALHATU MAHMED MAGAMI
26. HON. LAWAL M. LIMAN
27. HON. ABUBAKAR IDRIS KURYA
28. HON. YAHAYA SHAHU MARADUN
29. HON. YAHAYA ABDULLAHI GORA
30. HON. HARUNA ABDULLAHI D/SADAU
31. HON. IBRAHIM ABU MARU
32. HON. SHEHU BELLO MAI WURNO
33. HON. ALYU ANGO KAGARA
34. HON. ISAH ABDULMUMINU
35. HON. ALIYU ABUBAKAR MC
36. HON. ALIYU ABUBAKAR DANJIBGA
37. HON. MANIR ALIYU G/JAJA
38. HON. YUSUF AHMAD MORIKI
39. ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC)
40. INUWA ABDULKADIR, 1ST NATIONAL VICE CHAIRMAN NORTH
WEST ZONE OF APC
41. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC)
42. HON. SANI AJI - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

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Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Electoral Matters.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the Ruling and Judgment of the High Court of Zamfara State delivered by Shinkafi J, on the 25th day of January 2019 in Suit No. ZMS/GS/52/2018 wherein the High Court overruled the Appellants preliminary objection and gave judgment in favour of the 1st to 38th Respondents and directed the 39th-41st Respondents to accept the names of the 1st to 38th Respondents as the candidates of the 39th Respondent for election to the offices of Governor, National and State Assembly elections fixed for 2019.


The 1st to 38th Respondents on appeal were the Plaintiffs at the High Court. At the High Court as per their amended statement of claim dated 13th November 2018, the Plaintiffs claimed the following reliefs:


a) AN ORDER DECLARING as lawful and valid the primary elections conducted by the APC (herein Plaintiffs party) under the supervision of the 3rd Defendants and security agent on the 3rd and 7th day of October 2018 for the purpose of producing candidates to vie for the various elective office which produce the Plaintiffs under the platform of the 1st Defendant.  
b) A DECLARATION that any decision or steps taken to reverse the results of the primary election duly conducted on the 3rd and 7th day of October 2018 and monitored by the 3rd Defendant is or will amount to a nullity, void and of no effect whatsoever.

c) A DECLARATION that the 1st Defendant is bound to recognize, accept and forward to the 3rd Defendant the list of candidates that emerged winners in the Governorship, National Assembly and State Legislative Houses primary elections of the 1st Defendant in Zamfara State held on the 3rd and 7th October 2018 and monitored by the 3rd Defendant.

d) A DECLARATION that the 3rd defendant cannot refuse or shut out the 1st Defendant from presenting or forwarding to it the list of candidates that emerged winners in the Governorship National Assembly and State Legislative Houses Primary Elections in Zamfara State having been conducted on 3rd and 7th October 2018 to hold their primary elections.

e) A DECLARATION that the 3rd defendant cannot refuse to accept and publish the list of candidates that emerged winners of the Governorship, National and State Legislative Houses Primary elections of the 1st Defendant in Zamfara State submitted to it for the 2019 general elections.  
f) AN ORDER of this Honorable Court directing the 3rd Defendant to accept and publish the list of Governorship, National and State Legislative Houses primary elections of the 1st Defendant in Zamfara State held on the 3rd and 7th October 2018 and monitored by the 3rd Defendant.

g) AN ORDER directing the 3rd defendant to accept and accord due recognition to the list of candidates that emerged winners in the Governorship National and State Legislative Houses Primary Elections of the 1st Defendant in Zamfara State on 3rd and 7th October 2018.

h) AN ORDER mandating or compelling the defendant to recognize and accept the list of candidates that emerged winners in the Governorship, National and State Legislative Houses Primary Elections of the 1st Defendant in Zamfara State held on 3rd and 7th October 2018.

i) AN ORDER directing the defendants to recognize only the result of the Primary election of the 1st Defendant held on 3rd and 7th October 2018 in Zamfara State.

j) AN ORDER of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants either by themselves, through their lawful agents, privies or assign from taking any steps towards cancelling/rejecting the result of the primary election held on 3rd and 7th October 2018 and monitored by the 3rd Defendant. 
k) The cost of filing, and prosecuting this suit.

The Appellants then stated that, at all material times all the Respondents except 39th Respondent admitted that after two unsuccessful attempts to conduct primary elections, they could not proceed to conduct primaries, but on the part of the 39th Respondent it asserted that even though primary elections were not conducted, it exercised its right to present list of candidates agreed upon by consensus. The 1st to 38th Respondents insisted that primary elections were conducted but the 39th Respondent's electoral officer for some reasons best known to him refused to submit the list of winners of the primary elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission. The 1st to 38th Respondents sensing that their list of successful candidates might be rejected by the Independent National Electoral Commission rushed to Court and instituted suit NO. ZMS/GS/52/2018, claiming the reliefs set out above. The matter then went to trial, parties called witnesses and tendered exhibits, at the end of the trial judgment was entered in favour of the Respondents, the Appellants became nettled by the decision and therefore appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on these issues couched as follows:

1. Whether having regards to the provisions of Section 251(1) (r) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, the Court below has jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim of the 1st -38th Respondents. 

2. Whether the Court below was right in placing reliance on materials, depositions and documentary exhibits contained in and/or attached to the counter affidavit and further affidavit by the 1st-38th Respondents in opposition to the preliminary objection, to hold that the 1st to 38th Respondents are aspirants and have legal standing to institute/maintain and or prosecute the claim in suit No. ZMS/GS/52/2018.

3. Whether the Court below did discharge the duty incumbent upon it to evaluate or properly evaluate and ascribe weight to the evidence led by the parties before it before coming to the Conclusion that the 1st to 38th Respondents claim was proved and granting the reliefs sought by them.

4. Whether the Appellants right to fair hearing guaranteed by Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) was breached by the Court below.

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found merit in the appeal and accordingly allowed same. The decision of the High Court was therefore set aside.


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