The Federal High Court sitting in Minna, Niger State capital, has disqualified the incumbent House of Representatives member representing Suleja, Tafa and Gurara Federal Constituency, Hon Abubakar Lado from contesting at any stage of an election after the 2007 judgement that removed him from the Niger State House of Assembly for submitting false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Justice Aminu Garba has ruled.
But the court declined jurisdiction to grant some of the reliefs sought in the case instituted by Haruna Arafat Magaji challenging the qualification of Lado to contest in any stage of election.
While on the substantive case, the court disqualified Lado from contesting at any stage of an election after the 2007 judgement that removed him from the Niger State House of Assembly for submitting false information to the INEC, the court declined jurisdiction to grant some of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff in his originating summons.
Justice Garba held that the plaintiff (Magaji’s) case was not statute barred and that the court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter as against the argument of the first and second defendants, Lado and APC respectively.
The court however declined jurisdiction to grant some of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff in his originating summons having been outside the scope of the provision of section 29 (5 & 6) of the Electoral Act 2022.
Although Magaji’s case failed at the preliminary stage, Justice Aminu Garba determined the substantive matter on its merit.
The judge held that no competent court of law has set aside the 2007 Appeal Court judgement that affirmed the judgement of the Election Petitions Tribunal which found Lado guilty of forging his uncle’s signature on his declaration of age.
Justice Garba also held that Lado lied on INEC form CF 001 where he ticked “no” that he had never submitted false information to the commission which is an offence by section 66 (1i) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The judge then declared that Abubakar Lado Abdullahi did not qualify to contest 2011, 2015, 2019, and the forthcoming 2023 general elections as well as for any future elections.
The court in another judgement delivered a few weeks ago declared the plaintiff Magaji as the authentic candidate for Suleja/Gurara/Tafa federal constituency in the forthcoming 2023 general elections