From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja.
The Supreme Court in Abuja has dismissed an appeal brought before it by a Labour Party’s governorship aspirant in Plateau State, Ambassador Yohanna Margif, challenging the nomination of the candidate of the party, Dr Patrick Dakum.dxw
The appeal was thrown out on Wednesday by Justice John Inyang Okoro following its dramatic withdrawal by the appellant, Margif, upon discovery that the matter has become statute barred.
Counsel to the appellant, Mr Opeyemi George Ojo, had pleaded with the Apex Court to invoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to take over the matter and resolve all disputed issues in the interest of justice to his client.
His persuasion was however rejected by the 5-man panel of Justices of the Court on the ground that conditions precedent for the court to invoke section 22 of the Supreme Court Act were not met.
Specifically, the Justices reminded the lawyer that both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court no longer have jurisdiction that can be invoked by the Supreme Court since the time for the matter to be heard had lapsed.
Confronted with reality on the futility of his request, the appellant announced withdrawal of his appeal and was subsequently dismissed by Justice Okoro.
The appellant had in his brief challenged the emergence of Dr Dakum as the Labour Party’s Gubernatorial candidate in Plateau State insisting that he (Margif) won the governorship primary election of the party and never withdrew his nomination.
Labour Party however in its defence insisted that Ambassador Margif in a letter voluntarily withdrew his candidacy and copied the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), with the same letter.
The Party claimed that following the withdrawal by Ambassador Margif, a new primary election was conducted in which Dr Patrick Dakum emerged and his name submitted to INEC.
Margif ignited the first legal battle at a Federal High Court in Jos but lost as the court upheld the position of LP and declared Dr Dakum as the legitimate governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Plateau State.
Justice Dorcas Agishi in her judgment on December 9, 2022 affirmed Dr. Dakum as the authentic candidate of the party, having followed the party’s guideline to emerge as the party’s flag bearer.
The Judge established that Ambassador Yohanna Margif had signed an affidavit to withdraw voluntarily as the governorship candidate of the party which necessitated the party to conduct fresh primary that produced Dr. Dakum.
Not satisfied with the High Court’s decision, Margif had approached the Court of Appeal but lost and subsequently moved to the Supreme Court for final decision.
With the Supreme Court’s final judgment, the long drawn legal action on Labour Party’s Gubernatorial candidate tussle for Plateau State for March 18 governorship election has been laid to rest.
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