By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
A House of Representatives member, representing Wukari and Ibi Federal Constituency of Taraba State, Hon Danjuma Shiddi, has finally lost his bid to clinch the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Taraba South Senatorial District seat.
Inadvertently, he consolidated the win of the party’s candidate, David Jimkuta, who beat state governor, Darius Ishaku, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to clinch the Taraba South Senatorial District seat.
The Supreme Court in Abuja on Friday dismissed his appeal seeking to declare him as the APC’S flagbearer for the Senatorial District.
The apex court upheld the Court of Appeal judgment in Abuja which had earlier upheld the nomination of a first-timer, Mr David Jimkuta, as the lawful candidate of the APC in the February 25, senatorial election in Taraba South Senatorial election.
Shiddi, had last month approached the Apex Court praying for reversal of the judgment of the appellate court and affirming the decision of a Federal High Court which upheld his nomination as candidate of the APC in the said election.
However, the Apex Court in its judgment delivered on Friday, dismissed his appeal for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
The judgment delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro as prepared by Justice Centus Nweze, observed that there was no need to tamper with the judgment of the appellate court which set aside the decision of the high court for not conforming with the law.
The five member panel led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, subsequently upheld the judgment of the 3-man panel of the appellate court that recognized the nomination of Jimkuta.
Justice Hamman Barka, of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, had in a judgment delivered last month, held that because the primary election which produced Jimkuta was conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC, his nomination was valid and in accordance with the relevant laws.
The court held that “only the NWC of the APC has the powers, the rights, and vires to conduct a valid primary election for the party.”
David Jimkuta had won the APC primary election for Taraba South but was wrongfully substituted by his party with the current member representing Wukari and Ibi Federal Constituency, Danjuma Shiddi.
Disatisfied with his substitution, Jimkuta headed to the Federal High Court in Jalingo, Taraba state, to seek redress, having won the party’s primary election with 170 votes against Shiddi who polled 70 votes.
He then prayed the court to declare him the winner of the primary and stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing Shiddi, who came second, as the APC senatorial candidate for Taraba South.
Reacting to the judgment, Jimkuta thanked the Almighty God and the Judiciary for again proving to be the hope of the ordinary man, adding that his victory would further encourage youths not only in Taraba State but the entire country to go into partisan politics.
“It is a victory for democracy, the people of Taraba South and the entire APC family”, he said.
While calling on his opponents to join hands with him and work towards taking Taraba State to the next level, he assured the people of living up to expectations and building a lasting legacy with this opportunity to serve the people.
Similarly, his lawyer, Mr Johnson Usman, SAN, thanked God and the Judiciary for doing justice in the suit, noting that the victory both in the court and in the ballot has confirmed that Jimkuta is truly the choice of the people of Taraba South.