The Acting Governor of Adamawa State, Umar Fintiri, has received the green light of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to participate in the forthcoming governorship primary in the state.
The party’s screening committee headed by Ibrahim Mantu had on Saturday disqualified Fintiri from taking part in the contest based on Section 191 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.
The section reads: “The Deputy Governor of a State shall hold the office of Governor of the State if the office of Governor becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal of the governor from office for any other reason in accordance with section 188 or 189 of this constitution.
“(2)Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of Deputy Governor of the State is also vacant, the Speaker of the House of Assembly of the State shall hold the office of Governor of the State for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new Governor of the State who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office.
“(3) Where the office of the Deputy Governor becomes vacant –
“(a) by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal in accordance with section 188 or 189 of this Constitution.”
Mantu said the acting governor was a child of circumstance and therefore cannot participate in the process.
However, dissatisfied with the reason given for his disqualification, Fintiri lodged a complaint with the governorship appeal screening panel of the PDP and after examining his argument has declared him fit to contest for the Governorship seat.
Chairman of the panel, James Manager, told journalists at the end of the panel sitting in Abuja on Sunday that Fintiri was free to contest the PDP primary.
Manager said his committee had examined the reason given by the Mantu panel, and that the section of the constitution cited as reason for Fintiri disqualification, did not apply in the case.
“We as members of the appeal panel, looked at issues. Particularly we took a critical look not just at the constitutional provision but the entire gamut of the 1999 constitution as amended. And we have the electoral act and the PDP constitution, and we have come to the irresistible conclusion that the provisions as quoted by the screening panel does not affect the aspirant in this matter,” the panel chairman said.
The party’s primary election will hold on Saturday in Yola, the state capital.