Saturday, August 24, 2019 9:29 pm
The National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Kaduna on Saturday dismissed the petition of Mr Lawal Adamu against the election of Sen. Uba Sani for lack of evidence.
Adamu, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Feb. 23 National Assembly election had asked the Tribunal to nullify the election of Sen. Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
Uba Sani, a former Political Adviser to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, won the Feb. 23, 2019 election with 355, 242 votes.
Adamu who emerged second in the poll scored 195,497 votes while Shehu Sani of PRP was a distant third with 70,613 votes.
However, Lawal and the PDP approached the Tribunal alleging that the election was marred by massive rigging, ballot stuffing, ballot snatching and violence in some parts of the senatorial zone.
The petitioners also alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the electoral Act 2010 in the conduct of the poll.
They eqaully alleged that Uba Sani did not resign his appointment as an official of the Government of Kaduna State before contesting the poll and that violated the Electoral Act.
However, Chairman of the three-man Tribunal, Justice Adamu H. Suleiman in a judgment that lasted three hours, said that Adamu and his party failed to provide substantial evidence of all allegations contained in the petition.
He said that the petitioners presented 38 witnesses before tribunal who failed to present convincing evidence to warrant the nullification of Uba Sani’s the election.
According to him, most of the information the witnesses gave under cross-examination were in variance with what they presented to the tribunal in writing.
The Chairman said the petitioners and their witnesses failed to provide evidence of allegations of over voting, massive rigging, ballot snatching and violence in some parts of Birnin Gwari, Igabi and Giwa LGs as contained in their petition.
Suleiman said most of the witnesses told the tribunal that the elections were conducted in those affected areas within time stipulated by the electoral act 2010.
He said that some of the information on allegations of massive rigging, ballot stuffing and violence in polling units were obtained by proxy and “the court would not use third party information/hearsay as evidence as contained in the petition.”
The tribunal chairman added that the petitioners did not tender material evidence of either voters register or voters cards to prove the allegation of INEC’s non compliance with the Electoral Act.
The Tribunal also dismissed the petitioners allegation that Uba Sani did not resign his appointment as Political Adviser to Gov Nasiru El-Rufai as baseless.
Mr Frank Ikpe, lead counsel to Sen. Uba Sani, hailed the Tribunal for a fair judgment.
He thanked all those that contributed to the success of the case and urged those not satisfied with the ruling to proceed to the Court of Appeal.
Meanwhile, counsel to Adamu and Mr Felix Hyat of PDP, who were present at the court declined comment on the verdict.
In another development, the Tribunal has fixed Monday, Aug. 26, to rule on the petition of Mr Barnabas Bantex, former deputy governor of Kaduna State.
Bantex, who contested for Senate under APC to represent Kaduna South Senatorial district, is challenging the re-election of Sen. Danjuma Lah of the PDP in the Feb. 23,2019 polls.