The primary election that produced Senator Emmanuel Bwacha as the 2023 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Taraba State has been nullified.
The election was nullified by the Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo, presided over by Justice Simon Amobeda.
Also, Amobeda ordered the party to conduct a fresh primary poll within 14 days of the judgment and determine the mode within seven days.
David Sabo Kente, one of the aspirants in the Taraba APC guber primary, on May 26 sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Emmanuel Bwacha and APC as the first, second and third defendants respectively, challenging the legitimacy of the conduct of the primary.
The presiding judge, in determining the substantive suit, noted that the Chairman of the Taraba APC Governorship Election Committee had said there was no election and he did not order any election when he addressed a briefing at the Police Headquarters in Jalingo.
The judge also noted that there was no evidence before the court that the direct primary adopted by the third defendant (APC) held.
Justice Amobeda also held that the aspirants were not given equal opportunity to campaign.
He resolved that the weight of evidence before the court showed that no election was held and that the nomination of Senator Bwacha “was null and therefore set aside”.
“No APC governorship primary election was held in Taraba. Therefore, the nomination of the second defendant (Bwacha) as the governorship candidate did not comply with the electoral act of 2022,” the judge held.
The judge described the Taraba guber primary election held on May 26, 2022,
as “sham,” adding that “the third defendant (APC) is restrained from presenting its candidate (Bwacha) to the first defendant (INEC) for the 2023 general election.
Justice Amobeda ordered that “the third defendant shall within 14 days conduct a fresh election and shall determine the mode of primaries within seven days of the judgement.”