Kaduna Guber: Tribunal set to deliver judgment virtually today
The Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in the state capital, will today deliver judgment in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2023 election, Isah Ashiru, against the victory of Governor Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The tribunal is going to deliver judgement via Zoom, but no formal reason has been given for the sudden development.
Supporters of the APC and PDP are already in court awaiting the arrival of the tribunal members led by Justice Victor Oviawie.
PDP is challenging the declaration of Governor Uba Sani as the winner of the March 18 governorship election.
Senator Sani polled a total of 730,001 votes to defeat his closest rival Ashiru who scored 719, 196 votes.
The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Jonathan Asake came a distant third with 58,283 votes, while Suleiman Hunkuyi of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) scored 21,405 votes.
While the LP and NNPP accepted the outcome of the election, the PDP and its candidate rejected the results of the election, alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the wrong candidate winner of the election.
PDP and Ashiru alleged that there was massive irregularities and manipulation of results in favour of Governor Sani in some local governments by the INEC.
According to them, Senator Sani did not score the highest number of valid votes cast in the election and ought not to have been returned winner of the election by the INEC.
In June 2023, PDP and Ashiru however filed a petition at the election petition tribunal to challenge the election of Governor Sani.
At the last sitting of the court on September 3, all parties presented their final written addresses before the tribunal, with APC’s legal team led by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bayo Ajo, SAN, arguing that the petitioners had helped in proving he won the election free and fair, pointing in particular to the admission of a star witness for the petitioner, Bonett Gwazah, a senior system analyst in the VR/ICT department of the INEC in Kaduna State.
However, the PDP on its part argued that two conflicting election results emerged from the INEC for the governorship election.
The party’s legal team led by Oluwole Iyamu, SAN, accused the INEC of manipulating the election results in favour of Sani.
Among those in court for the APC include the deputy governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, the state party chairman, Emmanuel Jekada, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Sani Liman as well as the secretary to Kaduna State government, Balarabe Abbas.
Also present is the Kaduna State PDP chairman, Hassan Hyet and the former deputy governor of Kaduna State, Nuhu Bajoga.