By Aluta News
Nov. 24, 2023
The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Friday, affirmed the election victory of Gov. Uba Sani of Kaduna State.
The three-member panel, in a unanimous judgment, dismissed the five-ground appeal filed by Isa Ashiru, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate in the March 18 governorship election in the state, for being unmeritorious.
The court, which set aside the order of the tribunal directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a supplementary election in some polling units in parts of the state, said the trial court was wrong to have declared the poll inconclusive.
Justice Obietonbara Owupele Daniel-Kalio, who read the judgments on the main and cross appeals, held that the March 18 election which produced Sani was in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in the main appeal marked: CA/K/EP//GOV/KAD/39/2023, Ashiru and PDP sued INEC, Sani and APC; while in the cross appeal marked:: CA/K/EP/GOV/KAD/40/2023, Sani and APC filed the appeal against Ashiru and three others
In the main appeal, Justice Daniel-Kalio resolved all the five formulated issues against Ashiru and PDP.
The five issues bothered on alleged malpractices, over voting, manipulation of results, and ballot stuffing.
In the cross appeal filed by APC, which challenged the declaration of the election inconclusive, the panel resolved the three formulated issues in favour of the party and vacated the declaration of the tribunal.
The court held that evidence relied upon by the tribunal to declare the election inconclusive were manifestly bad, unreliable and ought not to have given any probative value.
The panel of justices, headed by Justice Daniel-Kalio, was supported by James Gambo Abundaga and Mohamed Baba Idris.
NAN reports that the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna had, on Sept. 28, declared the Kaduna State governorship election inconclusive.
The petition was filed by Ashiru against Sani.
In a split decision of a ratio of 2:1, the three-man tribunal panel led by Justice Victor Oviawe declared that the election was inconclusive.
The panel thus directed that a supplementary election should be held by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within 90 days.
The tribunal further directed INEC to conduct election in seven wards, four local governments , 22 polling units consisting of 16,300 registered voters.
NAN reports that the PDP had headed to the tribunal to challenge Sani’s election victory.
The PDP had baked its arguments on the grounds of alleged irregularities and electoral fraud, deposing that its candidate, Ashiru, won the election.
During the hearing of the petition, the PDP and Ashiru called 24 witnesses and presented claims and documents to prove their case.