Paul Omokuvie, Bauchi
There is anxiety in Bauchi State as the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the state has fixed Monday, October 7, 2019, as the day for the final ruling in the petition filed by the All Progressives (APC) challenging the declaring of Senator Bala Mohammed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the last governorship election in the state.
The Bauchi State chapter of the APC, had filed the petition seeking nullification of the declaration of Senator Bala Mohammed as the duly elected governor of Bauchi State and declare their candidate, Barrister Mohammed Abubakar as the winner of the governorship election.
Presenting their written argument at the tribunal sitting in Bauchi on Wednesday, the APC prayed the court to order INEC to annulled declaration of the PDP candidate as the winner of the election over alleged over-voting and non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act.
Counsel to the petitioner argued that over 306 polling units were affected in Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro local governments, adding that the clear cases of over-voting witnessed was enough to nullify INEC
Declaration of PDP candidate in accordance with the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.
They prayed the court to order INEC to sort out votes that are invalid from valid votes, stating that the process would reveal that the APC candidate would be the winner in the governorship election
But there was a mild drama when the Prosecution witness 5 presented by the petitioner, was asked to come forward, during his presentation and he admitted that he was not an expert with figures, a position that contradicted the claim of by the petitioner.
Nevertheless, the APC counsel remained optimistic that the admittance of Prosecution witness 5 would not affect the outcome of the case as it was only the court that can determine whether he was indeed an expert or not as they remain sure that justice would be done by the court and victory would go their way.
Also presenting their written argument, counsel to second defendant and PDP candidate Senator Bala Mohammed, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), argued that the petitioner failed to established their case and urged the court to dismiss the petition brought by the APC against their client for lacking merit.
Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Salihu Shuibu, after listening to all parties involved in the case, adopted their final written argument and fixed Tuesday October 7 as the date for final judgment.
When our correspondent visited the court premises, hundreds of supporters of the PDP and APC candidates who thronged the area waited outside the court premises to know the outcome.
Earlier in the day, security operatives had cordoned the entire area leading to the court, where incidentally INEC headquarter in the state is located, resulting in traffic logjam along the Ahmadu Bello road.
Speaking with journalists earlier, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Habu
Sani, disclosed that the police were prepared to provide adequate security during the sitting of the tribunal.
The police boss warned those who wanted to cause trouble to have a rethink as the full wrath of the law would be brought to bear on the miscreants.