Abba withdraws applications against Ganduje at election tribunal
Kano State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Abba Kabiru Yusuf, yesterday filed fresh motion on notice before the election petition tribunal for withdrawal of two applications against Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
The motions on notice earlier challenged paragraphs in some sections of Ganduje’s response to PDP’s petition before the Justice Halima S. Mohammad- led tribunal.
Appearing at the opening of the tribunal’s pre-hearing, lead counsel to Abba, Gboyega Awomolo (SAN) said the withdrawal was necessary after due consideration.
He said action was adopted for accelerated proceedings to enable the respondents to tidy up their responses accordingly.
Counsel to Abba had earlier filed additional two motions on notice, urging the court to ignore application of technicalities being fronted by the defendants just as they asked the opposing parties to open their defense.
However, coordinator of Ganduje’s legal team, Mohammad A. Lawan, who opposed PDP’s decision to withdraw the motion, insisted that the party was aware that the applications lacked merit and amounted to waste of time before the tribunal.
Aliyu Umar (SAN), lead counsel to Ganduje, had applied for fresh motion on notice asking the court to strike out PDP’s petition for lack of merit.
But counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) filed preliminary objection on contempt proceeding, asking the tribunal to vacate the criminal charges against Kano Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Shehu Arabi initiated by PDP through forms 48 and 49.
PDP challenged Arabi to explain why he should not be jailed for ignoring a court order, which granted PDP permission to inspect electoral materials.
In his defense, counsel to INEC, Adedayo Adedeji, who insisted that INEC did not disobey court order asked the tribunal to set the contempt proceeding aside.
On a motion on notice pursuance to section 72 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act and section 36 of the1999 Constitution (as amended), Adedeji insisted that the petitioner’s argument was a flagrant abuse of the judicial process at the tribunal, since the alleged contemnor did not disobey its orders.
In his ruling Justice Mohammad adopted all applications and motions filed by the petitioner and respondents and adjourned further hearing to Saturday, July 13, 2019, for ruling on the applications.
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