By Bukar Bolori
The Federal High Court sitting in Maiduguri, the Borno Capital has instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the name Hon Mohammed Umara Kumalia as the Borno- Central Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming election.
The court also ordered Hon Kumalia to immediately stop parading himself as the PDP Senatorial Candidate for Borno Central ahead of the election.
The All Progressives Congress ( APC ) and its Borno- Central Senatorial candidate, Hon Kaka Shehu Lawan had approached the Federal High to sought the disqualification of Hon Mohammed Kumailia, whose was at a time the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and the gubernatorial candidate of defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011, on the ground that he did not participate in the PDP primary election.
Delivering his judgement, Justice Jude Dagat said INEC erred in the first instance by publishing the name of Hon Mohammed Kumailia ” who did not participate in a valid primary election.”
According to Justice Dagat ” INEC ought to have rejected the name of Hon Mohammed Umara Kumalia as submitted to it by the PDP as the candidate of the party ab initio .”
He said ” there is no record of a re- run election conducted by the PDP and supervised by INEC.”
INEC had on September 20th 2022 published the name of Kumailia as PDP Senatorial Candidate for Borno Central after the name of Jibrin Mustapha Tatabe who won the PDP primary election earlier on 23rd of May 2022 was substituted by the party.
The PDP had told the court that Hon Tatabe, the winner of the primary, had voluntarily written to the party headquarters to withdraw his candidature citing personal grounds, after which another primary election was conducted and won by Hon Kumalia . But this was countered by Tatabe as he claimed his signature was forged in the said letter .