A Federal High Court in Kano on Thursday declared Mohammed Abacha as the authentic governorship candidate of the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State.
Initially, the electoral commission, INEC, published the name of Sadiq Wali, the son of Nigeria’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali, as the PDP governorship candidate.
Mr Abacha is the son of the late military dictator, Sani Abacha.
The younger Abacha was elected the governorship candidate by a faction of the PDP in the state while Mr Wali emerged as the candidate of another faction of the party.
However, the party’s national leadership recognises the faction which elected Mr Wali.
INEC, which had initially supervised and certified the primary by the pro-Abacha faction, made a U-turn and recognised Mr Wali as the authentic candidate of the party.
On Thursday, the trial judge, Abdullahi Liman, in a virtual ruling granted all the prayers of Mr Abacha.
The court restrained Mr Wali from parading himself as Kano PDP gubernatorial candidate.
The judge also ordered INEC to substitute the name of Mr Wali with that of Mr Abacha with immediate effect being the person who scored the highest votes cast during the PDP primary election conducted in Kano on 25 May.
The court ruled that the INEC, which is responsible for monitoring any election, supervised and monitored the PDP primary conducted by the Abacha-led faction.
The judge said the only election recognised by law is the one which is monitored and supervised by INEC.
The judge maintained that the inability of the PDP at the national level to notify INEC of the parallel election being conducted by Mr Wali’s faction rendered it invalid and illegal according to the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended).
The PDP headquarters is, however, expected to appeal the ruling.
Mohammed Abacha has been mentioned in various court cases in Nigeria and abroad as being one of the conduits his father used to steal billions of naira of public funds while in office.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how court documents in the US mentioned him as one of the persons who helped his father loot Nigerian funds. He has, however, not been convicted of any crime.
Mohammed was detained by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration for several months for the alleged looting but the family later agreed to a deal with the Nigerian government.
The Nigerian government has since recovered billions of naira from the Abacha’s since the latter’s death in 1998.
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