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Kaduna election tribunal rejects PDP candidate’s application on ballot paper recount

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Kaduna Governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Isa Ashiru

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna yesterday rejected the motion filed by the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Isa Ashiru and the Kaduna State PDP Chapter that the tribunal should order a recount of the vote cast in some local councils because of allegation of irregularities in the governorship.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ibrahim M. Bako, said the tribunal lacked the power to order a recount of the votes and subsequently struck out the application of the petitioner.

However, following the ruling, Ashiru has decided to proceed to the Court of Appeal.

But reacting to the verdict of the tribunal, counsel to the PDP governorship candidate, led by Elisha Kura (SAN), who spoke with journalists after the ruling, said: “The tribunal has delivered its own ruling and we are going to study it. We already have the perception of what it is and it is a ruling that has to be challenged because for a tribunal to say that it does not have the powers to do a recount is unacceptable.

“To us, the ruling of the tribunal is strange because other tribunals have done that ‎in the past and that has also been sanctioned by the Court of Appeal in a number of cases.

“So, we wonder at this stage why the tribunal would say it does not have the power to recount. So, we have to take it up ‎so that the issue will be trashed out.

“This tribunal has an inherent powers to grant the recount. The Court of Appeal has even agreed that they have the powers. So, for them to assume that there is no specific provision in the Electoral Act that talks about recount is strange to us and law.”

Also, the lawyer to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Sanusi Musa, said: “We urged the tribunal not to grant the application and we are happy that the tribunal has granted our submission and the application is dismissed.”

Meanwhile, counsel to Governor Nasir el-Rufai, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), who also commended the decision of Justice Bako to turn down the application for a recount of votes, said: “The application filed by the petitioner for recount in certain units was taken today and the tribunal found no merit in the application and was dismissed. We are very pleased with it and it is a reflection of the position of law and we are satisfied.

“The next thing now is the trial which the court said will be starting on June 15, 2019. As counsel to El-Rufai, we are ready to defend the mandate and we will be here to defend it and also prove to the tribunal that the last election that returns Malam el-Rufai as winner is the correct one and we will prove to the tribunal that the mandate emanated from the people of Kaduna State.”


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