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Plateau guber: Supreme Court affirms Dakum as LP candidate

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed Dr Patrick Dakum as the Plateau State Labour Party (LP) candidate for the Saturday Governorship election.

The 5-man panel of Justices led by Justice Inyang Okoro dismissed an appeal brought before it by Amb. Yohanna Margif, a LP aspirant in the state, challenging the nomination of the candidate of the party.

The appeal was dismissed following its dramatic withdrawal by Margif, upon discovery that the matter has become statute barred.

Counsel to the appellant, Mr Opeyemi 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 on the ground that conditions precedents 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 the 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 Dakum as the 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 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 Margif, a new primary election was conducted in which 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 Dakum as the legitimate governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Plateau State.

Justice Dorcas Agishi in her judgment on December 9, 2022 affirmed 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 Margif had signed an affidavit to withdraw voluntarily as the governorship candidate of the party which necessitated the party to conduct fresh primary.

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. 

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