A federal high court in Yola, the Adamawa capital, has nullified the governorship primary of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, thereby denying the party from fielding a candidate in the state’s governorship election next year.

Justice Abdulaaziz Anka gave the ruling on Friday in a suit filed before it by an aspirant of the party, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Ribadu had approached the court, urging it to disqualify Aishatu Ahmed Binani, who the APC had announced as the winner of the May 26 primary, because the outcome of the exercise that had seven aspirants participating was invalid and unlawful.

In his ruling, Justice Anka agreed with the plaintiff that the result of the primary was illegal and refused a plea for the conduct of a fresh primary.

“My findings are that there’s non-compliance to the Electoral Act, as well as party guidelines and the constitution because there was manifest overvoting, which has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” the judge held. “The first defendant (APC) cannot field a candidate for the 2023 general elections; the primary election is invalid, and the court therefore sees the return of Aishatu Ahmed Binani as unlawful. The plea for fresh elections is hereby refused.”

The court advised the party to use the 30-day window available to them to appeal its ruling if they feel dissatisfied.