Supreme Court Affirms Bello As Niger Governor, Dismisses Babangida’s Appeal

Governor of Niger State, Bello
Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello

The Supreme Court has upheld the nomination of Abubakar Bello as the authentic candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in the 2015 governorship election in Niger and therefore the legitimate governor of the state.

This followed a suit filed by Mustapha Babangida, one of the APC governorship aspirants in Niger State, who challenged the outcome of the Governor Bello’s primary election victory.

Babangida lost the case at both the Niger State High Court and the Court of Appeal but proceeded to the Apex court.

Delivering the judgment on Friday, Justice Kumai Akaahs, ruled that all the odds were against the appellant as evidence seen by the court showed that the he bought the party’s governorship nomination form after the time had already lapsed.

Justice Akaahs said: “For the appellant to be bestowed with the locus to institute the suit, he must have gone through all the processes of the primary.

“From the documentary evidence before this court, the appellant did not participate in the screening leading to the actual voting process by party delegates.

“In the circumstance, the appellant is not known to law as far as the 2015 APC governorship primary was concerned, and therefore, this court lacks the jurisdiction to examine the merit of the case.

“The appeal is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit and the status of the governor as candidate of the party in that election remained valid.”

The Justice also pointed out that it was a costly oversight for Babangida not to have joined the Governor as a party in the suit since the governorship election had been conducted and a winner announced before the suit was filed on March 25, 2015.

“The appellant fails to understand that the governor should have been listed as a party as the court’s decision could have impacted on the governor directly,” Akaahs said.

Babangida had asked the court to declare him Governor of Niger State since he was fraudulently disallowed to take part in the primary election exercise.

He insisted that he obtained the nomination form well on time, but was prevented from the contest because of his bright chances of emerging the party’s flag-bearer.