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Ganduje, Lalong, Tambuwal win at tribunal, PDP to appeal verdict

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Simon Lalong of Plateau

The Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal yesterday upheld the election of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje after dismissing the appeal filed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) candidate, Abba Kabiru Yusuf for lack of merit.

Speaking with Journalists after the judgement, PDP Chairman, Rabiu Suleiman Bichi, confirmed that PDP would appeal the tribunal’s resolution, insisting that it would exhaust all legal means to redeem its victory.

Bichi, who cautioned party supporters to remain calm and law abiding pending the final determination of the suit at the upper courts, stressed that the tribunal’s ruling could be faulted.

In his ruling that lasted four hours, the presiding judge, Justice Mohammad Halima Shamaki maintained that Abba and PDP’s petition did not lead credible evidence in the case.

Mohammad said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) decision to conduct the March 23, 2019 supplementary election was not a unilateral action, but a collective endorsement of all party agents including the PDP.

The tribunal disclosed that INEC complied with all known rules and regulations, electoral act and constitutional provision to declare the March 9 poll inclusive and organised a rerun election.

However, a former President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Muhammad Garba has urged Abba and his supporters to accept the ruling in good faith.

Besides, the Plateau State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos dismissed the petition brought before it by PDP gubernatorial candidate, General Jeremiah Timbut Useni challenging the election of Governor Simon Bako Lalong of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Having reviewed the arguments and final written addresses of all the parties and those of their witnesses, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

No fewer than 71 witnesses called by the petitioners to prove over-voting, non-compliance with the Electoral Act and election malpractices among others, failed to prove their assertions, saying the allegation of over-voting was like a pack of cards, which has no basis in law.

The three–man panel headed by Justice Halimat Saleeman added that the evidence of the witnesses collapsed ab initio and should be discountenanced.

Meanwhile, the Sokoto State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, has dismissed the petition filed against the election of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

The three-man panel in a unanimous decision upheld Tambuwal’s election as Governor of Sokoto State in a sitting that lasted over eight hours.

In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Abbas Abdullahi, it held that the petitioners failed to prove allegations of over-voting, electoral frauds and partial non-compliance.

The APC and its governorship candidate, Ahmed Aliyu, had taken Tambuwal, PDP and INEC to the tribunal, challenging INEC’s return of Tambuwal as winner of the March 9 election and March 23 re-run poll.


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