As parties in the Sokoto State governorship election dispute return to the Supreme Court on October 14, Democratic People’s Party (DPP) candidate in the election, Alhaji Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi has urged the Supreme Court to ensure justice in the case by allowing him to withdraw his interlocutory appeal.
On the said date, parties are expected to argue on whether or not the appellant (Dingyadi) has properly withdrawn the said appeal or there is need for a formal application to that effect.
The recourse to the Supreme Court was informed by a motion by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), lawyer to the respondent and incumbent Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamako, challenging the appellant’s intention to withdraw his appeal and urging the apex court to arrest the Appeal Court’s decision on the matter.
Dingyadi said in Lagos at the weekend that the only question for determination before the Supreme Court was whether or not he could withdraw his interlocutory appeal or file a fresh application to that effect, following which parties would return to the Appeal Court for the hearing of his substantive election petition.
He said the argument that parties should all agree before his withdrawal is effected would delay the matter perpetually, alleging that the respondent, who currently enjoys the status quo would not allow the hearing of the substantive petition against his election.
The appellant had gone to the apex court following dispute over whether or not he could withdraw the interlocutory appeal which arose from the refusal of the Appeal Court to allow him amend his prayers in the substantive appeal.
A panel of justices of the apex court led by Justice Niki Tobi had, on March 10, upheld the appellant’s application to withdraw the said interlocutory motion, but the court changed its mind and requested parties to come before it and argue the validity or otherwise of such withdrawal, upon an application by Olanipekun agaisnt the said withdrawal.
“We want the nation to know what is happening in Sokoto.
The man who the Court of Appeal ruled that he was not eligible to run in the first instance has been in the saddle for almost four years. “Secondly, that the judiciary has gone to sleep because the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction whatsoever to arrest the judgment.
If I go to court and say I want to divorce my wife and I go back to the same court that I no longer want to divorce her again, can any judge tell me that I must continue with the case?
“DPP went to the Supreme Court for the interpretation of the decision of the Appeal Court. We went to the Supreme Court on one point, to challenge the eligibility of Wamakko to contest the re-run but because the court was wasting time, the man contested for the re-run and won.
“We now said no problem and went back to the election tribunal to challenge the re-run; the same thing we were praying at the Appeal Court is now what we are praying for at the tribunal.
“After the re-run, three members of the tribunal said they had no jurisdiction to hear our case, while the other two ruled in our favour. I then went to the Court of Appeal but the Supreme Court is now using another case to arrest the judgment of the Appeal Court, just a motion.”