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Jubilation Maiduguri as Gov Umara wins at the Supreme Court

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Mukaila Ola 

There was celebration in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital as the Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed against the election of the governor, Prof. Babagana Umara.

A gubernatorial aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Idris Durkwa has challenging the emergence of Umara as the candidate of the APC and subsequent election as the governor before the apex court.

Ruling on the appeal, five justices of the Supreme Court, led by Hon justice John Iyang Okoro dismissed it for lacking in merit.

Also dismissed was the appeal by Hajja Fati Kaakenna, who was challenging the election of Senator Abubakar Kyari representing Borno north.

Idris and Kaakenna, who separately challenged the September/October, 2018 APC primaries in Borno State, had approached the supreme court after losing ‎at both the court of appeal in Jos and the federal high court in Maiduguri.

At the supreme court, counsel to Idris and Kaakenna, I K Bawa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had filed his briefs of arguments, praying the court to invoke its powers and set aside the concurrent judgements of the court of Appeal and federal high court in Maiduguri. The counsel wanted the court to remove Governor Umara and Senator Kyari from office and declare Idris and Kaakenna validly elected as Governor and Senator. 

However, counsel to Professor Umara and Senator Kyari, Yusuf Ali, a senior advocate of Nigeria, represented in court by K K Eleja, also a senior advocate, argued that the appeals were statute barred hence lacking in merit. He argued that the appeals be summarily dismissed. 

Five judges of the Supreme Court agreed with the argument and dismissed the two appeals. 

With the supreme Court judgment, both Idris and Kaakenna have reached end of the road in their litigation against the governorship and senatorial primaries in Borno State.

The decision of the apex court on being heard by people in Maiduguri was celebrated.

Many heard discussing it said it was great for it had the tendency of throwing the troubled state into another crisis.

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