The Kaduna State Gubernatorial Election Petition Tribunal has upheld the election of Governor Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while dismissing the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Isah Mohammed Ashiru.
The judgment, which took five and half hours, saw the three-man panel of judges led by Justice Victor Oviawie, Justice K. Damlat and Justice N. Nonye, struck out the petition because the preliminary notice was filed out of time, after the seven days prescribed by the constitution, and was deemed to have been abandoned.
Giving a split judgment, Justice Victor Oviawie said the preliminary notice was filed outside the seven days prescribed by the constitution from the day when the main case was filed, adding that the petition was deemed to be abandoned and this judgment was also towed by Justice N. Nonye, while Justice K. Damlat differed, noting in his own verdict that the preliminary notice was properly filed and was not abandoned.
However, in compliance with the Supreme Court standing order, the Tribunal went ahead to look at the merit of the petition, devein while it was being discussed.
The Tribunal, a majority judgement supported by Justices K. Damlat and N. Nonye, said the petitioner was able to prove beyond doubt that the election was invalid in 22 polling units across four local government areas, adding that the number of registered voters who have collected their PVCs in the four local governments are more than the 10,806 votes margin with which Uba Sani defeated Isah Ashiru, thus the election was inconclusive.
However, the lead judge, Justice Victor Oviawie differed, as he believed that the allegations that the elections were invalid in those 22 polling units within four local governments were not proved beyond doubt.
Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the APC, Sanusi Musa SAN said they were happy with the judgment, adding that they have no course to file any appeal as the judgment is in their favour.
According to him, “The tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by PDP and its candidate in the lead judgment. The tribunal ruled that the petition had been abandoned and it was dismissed. We are happy with the judgment because it affirmed the election of Governor Uba Sani.”
Speaking on the other judgment by the tribunal which looked at the merit of the case, Barr. Musa said: “When the tribunal looked at the merit of the petition, two of the judges said election in 22 polling units is inconclusive because the number of registered voters in is more than the margin between the winner and the first runners up”.
Counsel to the PDP, Barr. Baba Aliyu in his reaction to the judgment said they are not fully satisfied with the judgment adding that they wanted their client, Hon. Isah Ashiru Kudan to be declared the winner of the election based on their arguments and facts they laid before the tribunal.
He however stated that they would probably appeal the judgment because they believed that with the evidence before the tribunal, the election should have been upturned.