Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Kano State Governorship Election Tribunal on Tuesday dismissed an application by the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Engineer Abba Kabiru Yusuf, seeking to correct some spelling errors in his list of his witnesses.
The candidate, through his counsel, Barrister Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) had filed an application before the tribunal dated July 2, supported with a 13-paragraph affidavit.
Barrister Awomolo told the tribunal on Monday that the application was not seeking to import the names of new witnesses or to vary the names of the witnesses submitted, but to make some spelling corrections that would not cost the respondents any damage.
However, the first respondent, INEC through its counsel, Barrister Ahmed Raji (SAN), objected to the application on the grounds that it was a subtle device to change the list of witnesses. He suggested that those witnesses whose names were mis-spelt could use their initials to adopt their evidence.
Similarly, the counsel to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Offiong Offiong (SAN) rejected the fresh application on the grounds that it was in direct opposition to the position of the Court of Appeal on a similar request.
In her ruling, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Halima Shamaki, admitted that the application was tantamount to seeking an amendment of the list of witnesses before the tribunal.
According to her, the application was filed behind schedule as it was outside the mandatory 21 days permitted for such applications by the electoral act.
She stressed that the tribunal, therefore, lacked the powers to grant the prayers for an amendment of the application at this time and subsequently dismissed the application.