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Dalhatu vs. Turaki

BASHIR MOHAMMED DALHATU

V

IBRAHIM SAMINU TURAKI

ALH. DALHATU ATTAHIRU BAFARAWA

[ Chairman, Caretaker Committee (ANPP )]

MOHAMMED LAWAL

[ Chairman, Covention Committee (ANPP )]

ALL NIGERIA PEOPLE’S PARTY

JOHN E. K. ODIGIE OYEGUN

INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC)

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI, JSC ( Presided )

MICHAEL EKUNDAYO OGUNDARE, JSC

ALOYSIUS I. KATSINA-ALU, JSC ( Delivering the Lead Judgment )

UMARU ATU KALGO, JSC

AKINTOLA OLUFEMI EJIWUNMI, JSC

NIKI TOBI, JSC

DENNIS ONYEJIFE EDOZIE, JSC

SC. 31/2003

FRIDAY, 4TH JULY, 2003

CASE LAW - Onuoha vs. Okafor & Ors. (1983) 14 NSCC 494 - Whether distinguishable from the present case

COURT - High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja - Notable pronouncement on need to be circumspect in assuming jurisdiction over matters outside its territory

COURT - Jurisdiction - Vesting jurisdiction in the court - Whether done by the rules of court or statute creating the court

COURT - Supreme Court - Decisions of - Whether High Court judge can refuse to follow applicable principle established by - Nature and binding force of the doctrine of judicial precedent

JUDICIAL PRECEDENT - Nature and binding force of - Whether a High Court Judge can refuse to follow applicable principle established by a decision of the Supreme Court

JUDICIAL PRECEDENT - Onuoha vs. Okafor & ors. (1983) 14 NSCC 494 -  Whether distinguishable from the present case

JURISDICTION - High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Notable pronouncement on need to be circumspect in assuming jurisdiction over matters outside its territory

JURISDICTION - Jurisdiction of court to compel a political party to sponsor one candidate in preference for another candidate of self same party

-  Whether exists

JURISDICTION - Vesting jurisdiction in the court - Whether done by the rules of court or statute establishing the court

NOTABLE PRONOUNCEMENT - High Court of the Federal Capital

Territory, Abuja - Need to be circumspect in assuming jurisdiction over matters outside its territory

POLITICAL PARTY - Nomination of a candidate for election - Subsequent withdrawal of by the political party - Remedy open to the candidate

POLITICAL PARTY - Right to sponsor a candidate by a political party Nature of

POLITICAL PARTY - Sponsorship of candidate for an elective office Whether a court has jurisdiction to compel a political party to sponsor one candidate in preference for another candidate of the selfsame political party

Issues:

1. Whether the principles of the Supreme Court decision in Onuoha vs. Okafor & Others (1983) 14 NSCC 494, a case based purely on selection rather than election of candidate and which was decided under a different constitution, with different provisions governing the two different cases, can

oust the jurisdiction of a court of law entertaining this action.

2 Whether, in view of the provisions of Order 10, rule 4 of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (Civil Procedure Rules), 1991, the court below was right in striking out the plaintiff’s claim on the ground that the trial court lacked territorial jurisdiction to entertain the action.

Facts:

This action was commenced by a writ of summons before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The plaintiff/appellant claimed (1)  A declaration that the purported return of the 1st defendant/respondent, Ibrahim Turaki as the 2003 ANPP gubernatorial candidate for Jigawa State is unconstitutional, void and that the return was and still is a violation of the plaintiff’s right of fair hearing, right to be elected for any elective office; (2)  An injunction restraining the respondents from interfering with the aforesaid rights of the plaintiff.

The action was sequel to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) primary elections which was held on the 3rd day of January, 2003. In the case of Jigawa State, the primary elections were to hold in Dutse,  the State Capital. A committee conducted the screening and the primary election in Kano in which the 1st defendant/respondent did not take part. Only the appellant, Bashir Mohammed Dalhatu did. He was declared winner. Meanwhile another primary election was conducted in Dutse, Jigawa State Capital on the same date and the 1st defendant emerged the winner. The appellant did not participate in this. The result of the election in Dutse was released to the ANPP by the Chairman of the Election Committee. The ANPP recognised the same and duly announced the 1st defendant as the winner and issued him a certificate of such recognition on the 7th day of January, 2003.

Aggrieved, the plaintiff commenced this action on the 8th day of January challenging the recognition of the 1st defendant as the ANPP gubernatorial candidate for Jigawa State. The trial High Court entered judgment for the plaintiff. But the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal by the defendants. Dissatisfied, the plaintiff has appealed against the decision of the Court of Appeal. On the 10th of April, 2003, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal but reserved its reasons till the 4th of July, 2003. The appeal was decided upon two of the issues framed which touched the principles in Onuoha vs. Okafor (1983) 14  NSCC 494; and want of territorial jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in the matter.