A former Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Reps), Rt. Hon. Suleiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila has called on the Presidency and the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to urgently probe the circumstances that led to the party losing the seat of Sumaila/Takai Federal Constituency at the elections tribunal on Friday.
The elections tribunal sitting in Kano on Friday ruled that the APC did not have a candidate for Sumaila/Takai
Constituency during the National Assembly elections held in February.
The tribunal, which based its ruling on the Supreme Court judgment that affirmed Shamsuddeen Dambazau as the APC candidate for the seat against Kawu, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue a certificate of return to the candidate of the political party with the next highest votes.
Kawu, who was the original candidate for the seat until Dambazau’s suit challenging his candidature, said in a statement on Friday that the APC national leadership should constitute a special panel to probe all those involved in the underhand dealings that led to the loss.
It would be recalled that Kawu was picked as the consensus candidate for Sumaila/Takai Federal Constituency, where he went into the elections and won with wide margin.
Kawu Sumaila’s choice was as a result of the decision of Muhammad Baffa Takai, who had picked the APC ticket, to drop his ambition following series of persuaaion on him so that Kawu would be compensated for being unfairly treated during the APC primaries for Kano South Senatorial Zone.
The former Senior Special Assistant to the President was compensated with the Sumaila/Takai Reps ticket so that he would not take the issue of APC primaries for Kano South Senatorial Zone, which he clearly won, to court. In turn, Baffa Takai was made the Special Adviser to the State governor on community development.
Kawu’s resolve to accept the Reps ticket at the time was due to his loyalty and commitment to the party as well as respect for President Muhammadu Buhari in order for the party not to be plugged into crisis before the election.
However, Shamsuddeen Dambazau approached the high court and challenged Kawu’s nomination by the party and the court ruled in his favour.
Kawu said had those who claimed to love the party sheathed their swords and withdrawn the matter from the high court in the first instance, the party would no have found itself in the present quagmire.
“This is what we have tried effortlessly to make them understand, but all they were after was their selfish interest. This is somebody that never went into the primaries. What happened was that a consensus was reached where I was picked as the candidate.
“But from nowhere, Shamsuddeen, with the backing of some powerful people, went to court to challenge my nomination after I won the election. We wanted to prove a point by ensuring that the matter go to the Supreme Court. But the rest is now history. The tribunal has now ruled against our party, which is what we have been trying to avoid.
“I therefore call on the presidency and the national leadership of our party to take decisive action on this matter by probing it to ensure that all those that contributed to this are adequately sanctioned,” Kawu said.
Kawu, a former two-term Deputy Minority Leader of the House, said the tribunal ruling has finally vindicated him.
Rt. Hon. Suleiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila (OFR)
Former Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Reps)/former three-term member of the House