The Federal High Court in Jalingo presided over by Justice Simon Amobeda has affirmed Col. Agbu Kefas (rtd) as the legitimate governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba State.
The court dismissed the suit filed by Professor Jerome Nyame, a contestant in the primary election seeking the disqualification of Kefas, declaring Nyame’s case “lacks merits.”
The plaintiff had prayed the court to restrain the PDP candidate from contesting the 2023 gubernatorial poll on the party’s platform.
Nyame asked the court to disqualify Kefas on the ground that he did not purchase the expression of interest and nomination forms.
The litigant also prayed the court to declare him as the valid winner of the PDP governorship primary election in Taraba held on May 25, 2022, alleging that Kefas did not also participate in the party’s screening exercise which took place in Bauchi state.
Counsels to the plaintiff, JJ Usman (SAN) and PD Pius had argued that “Col. Kefas was not qualified to contest the PDP primary election of Taraba State because at the time of screening of gubernatorial aspirants, he was sitting as the Chairman of Taraba State PDP, presided over the affairs of gubernatorial aspirants and therefore, he is not qualified.”
The Independent National Elections Commission (INEC), the PDP and Kabiru Bappa who joined Kefas in the suit as the first, third and fourth defendants respectively, stood behind the PDP flag bearer, backing up their evidence with various exhibits.
Another governorship aspirant, Hilkia Bubajoda Mafindi, had also approached the court seeking Agbu’s removal as the PDP flag bearer for Taraba State.
Delivering judgement on Monday, Justice Simon Akpah Amobeda, dismissed all the cases. He ruled that the “plaintiffs have failed to prove their allegations.”
The High Court also dismissed, for lack of merit, the case in which the Taraba Speaker, Joseph Albasu Kunini, who also aspired for the PDP guber ticket, tried to join the suit against Kefas.
Counsel to Prof. Jerome Nyame, Barr. Pius Demba Pius, said his client will appeal the judgement.
Speaking with journalists after the verdict was passed, counsel to the PDP candidate, Barr. Musa Tende, hailed the judgement of the high court and called on the other candidates to sheath their swords.