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Court dismisses suit against Kumalia as PDP senatorial candidate

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A Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday, dismissed a suit challenging the nomination of Mr Muhammed Kumalia as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate for the 2023 Borno Central Senatorial District election.

Justice Emeka Nwite dismissed the suit brought by Mr Jubrin Tatabe for being incompetent and lacking in merit.

It was gathered that Tatabe had dragged his party, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kumalia and three others to court.

He had alleged unlawful substitution of his candidacy in the Feb. 25 senatorial election for the Borno Central Senatorial seat.

The plaintiff was said to have emerged winner of the May 23, 2022, primary poll of the PDP for the selection of candidate for the senatorial seat.

He was said to have, through a letter dated July 14, 2022, voluntarily withdrew as candidate of the party for the election.

Following, his withdrawal, the party then conducted a fresh primary on July 15, 2022 which then produced Kumalia as candidate of the PDP in the said senatorial poll.

The PDP, accordingly, submitted the name of Muhammed Kumalia to INEC, which the electoral umpire in turn published as candidate of the party for the Borno Central Senatorial election.

But in his suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1240/2022, the plaintiff alleged that contrary to the position of the defendants, he did not withdraw from the senatorial poll.

He argued that the letter of withdrawal including his signature was forged.

He therefore asked the court to set aside the said letter of withdrawal, sack Kumalia as candidate of the PDP and declare him the authentic candidate of the party in the said poll.

Delivering judgment in the matter on Tuesday, Justice Nwite agreed with the PDP and Kumalia that the case of the plaintiff was defective having been commenced through an originating summons instead of a writ of summons.

Noted that while in an originating summons, a case is determined by only documentary evidence, witnesses must be called to give oral and documentary evidence in a case initiated through a writ of summons.

The judge then held that the allegation of forgery was criminal in nature and must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

He said that in a criminal case such as this, the failure of the plaintiff to call witnesses to prove his allegations was fatal to the case.
Justice Nwite consequently dismissed it.(NAN)(

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