Date Published: 02/27/10
ON SOKOTO GOVERNORSHIP COURT CASES By SAHABI GARBA
It is very unfortunate that Sokoto, the Seat of the Caliphate has recently become a feasting field for political vultures whose intent and purposes are rubbishing the cherished values of Sokoto people. We strongly believe that the series of litigations against Governor Wamakko stoked by pecuniary beneficiaries in the media and legal business circle has ultra motive of igniting inferno that would consume innocent people. It was very glaring on 24 th February 2010, the day Sokoto Division of the Appeal Court sat to review the case of governorship of Sokoto State. It was observed that DPP chieftains had in two previous days evacuated their families from Sokoto after arming young boys with dangerous weapons to unleash mayhem in the town should the appeal turn against their plans. We wonder if these people actually love Sokoto people whom they want to govern by all means and at all cost.
The tragedy of the court cases deliberately being pursued to oust Governor Wamakko out of power hinges on fundamental matter why DPP failed to go to court before the April 14 th 2007 governorship election to raise any issue of substance. It was the ground they lost at Governorship and Legislative Assembly Election Tribunal. In that election Governor Wamakko of PDP won with 392,258 votes against Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi of DPP 296,419 votes. DPP went on Appeal to Kaduna Division of the Appeal Court which nullified the election and ordered re-run election between the parties that took part in earlier election. The wife of the Democratic Peoples Party’s Governorship candidate for Gombe State presided over the nullification of the election. As the judgement was delivered by interested party Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko and PDP apparently did not get justice.
The re-run election was held on 24 th May 2008 where Governor Wamakko of PDP won 562,395 votes against Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi of DPP 124,046 votes. But DPP aware of their dismal performance in the re-run election instituted series of court cases that the Kaduna Appeal Court where monumental mesmerization took place should be relied on to give them governorship of Sokoto State on a platter of gold. But they participated in the re-run election as legitimate exercise conducted by INEC.
PDP and INEC objected to the composition of the present Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division as constituted by the President of the Court of Appeal because of inherent impartial interests. Governor Wamakko and PDP further filed a Motion on Notice to move the court to invoke section 295(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 for a reference to the Supreme Court which in essence is to determine impartiality of the Appeal Court as constituted but because of vested interest the Appeal Court, Sokoto Division ignored the Motion on Notice and perhaps must have prepared judgement as dictated by interest parties against Governor Wamakko.
Consequently, Governor Wamakko smelt foul play and because of antecedent of the Kaduna Appeal Court where colossal injustice was visited on him and PDP normal line of protest was followed. Indeed, it is obvious that some interest groups are bent on causing confusion in Sokoto. Sokoto electorates that overwhelmingly voted Governor Wamakko have borne enough of the legal rigmarole based on clientele patronage.
We now know why members of Democratic Peoples Party always had advanced knowledge of proceedings of court cases. Recently they rolled out the drums to celebrate victory when the Appeal Court had not sat to deliver judgement. While we await the outcome of the investigations against those interested Judges in the Panel we must warn that Sokoto electorates have suffered enough injustice, first when their mandate to Governor Wamakko was unjustifiably overturned and second after the re-run election where they overwhelmingly reaffirmed their earlier mandate clandestine moves are still being hatched to rob them of their civic rights. Such has not happened anywhere in the country. If democracy is majority we must sustain it with everything at our disposal. Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa once said that Sokoto people could be likened to chickens and grains. He had also boasted that as long as he lives his candidates should continue to govern Sokoto State. We are poised to show that we are people of dignity, excellent culture and cherished values as bequeathed to us by the founders of the great Sokoto Caliphate.
Sokoto Democratic Initiatives
Abdullahi Fodio Road