Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, in Sokoto State on Wednesday in Abuja deliver judgment in the petition filed by Ahmed Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the declaration of Governor Aminu Tambuwal as the winner of the governorship election.
Parties to the petition had on September 3, adopted their final addresses for and against the petition.
A senior counsel for one of the parties, Hassan Liman (SAN) who confirmed this to Daily Sun said already, hearing notice has been issued by the tribunal to that effect.
He however could not explain why the Justice Abbas Bawale led tribunal is delivering its judgment in Abuja.
Aliyu had gone to the tribunal seeking to upturn the victory of Tambuwal of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 Governorship election.
The main governorship election which held on March 9 was declared inconclusive following cancellation of 75, 403 votes which were higher than the 3, 413 votes margin between the leading candidates.
The re-run was conducted on March 23, and Mr Tambuwal won with a slim margin of 342 votes.
Unsatisfied with the outcome, Mr Aliyu approached the tribunal challenging the return of Mr Tambuwal as the governor-elect, on the grounds that the election was marred with irregularities.
Meanwhile, Governor Tambuwal, had through his Counsel to Mr Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, closed his defence after he presented eight witnesses including officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The 8th defence witness, Jabbi Kilgori, who is the PDP State Collation and Returning Officer, told the tribunal that the election was free and fair, while results were duly declared uncontested at state collation centre in his presence.
In his evidence, Mr Kilgore identified discrepancies in the names of the petitioner, Mr Aliyu and his running mate, Faruk Yabo, from the forms they completed at INEC.
All the witnesses have undergone cross-examinations from Mr Aliyu’s counsel, Alex Izinyon, on their capability to give legal evidence, among other areas.
Justice Abbas Babawale admitted some documents after he granted the application by the respondent’s counsel who tendered them through the witnesses which he said were vital to their defence.
Also, the lead Counsel for PDP, Mr Akinmuyiwa Akinboro, SAN, told the Tribunal that he would not lead any defence witness.
Akinboro said he relied on Tambuwal’s witnesses as well as the cross-examinations he conducted on the petitioner’s witnesses.
During the trial, Lead Counsel of the Petitioners, Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, led 10 witnesses and presented exhibits before the tribunal to prove the petition.
Mr Alhassan Umar, Counsel of INEC, had not presented any witness as he also relied on petitioner’s witnesses and the cross-examinations he conducted.