Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has described his victory at the Kano State Election Petitions Tribunal as a vindication of the truth.
A statement signed by his press secretary, Alhaji Abba Anwar quoted him as saying: “When the election was held, we won and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) decided to challenge our victory in an election tribunal. It is clear to all now that our victory is genuine, as has just been confirmed by the tribunal.”
The tribunal dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abba Kabiru Yusuf, seeking to nullify the election of Ganduje.
The tribunal panel presided by Justice Halima Shamaki, in its judgment held that the petitioners failed to discharge the legal burden of proof that would have caused the tribunal panel to cancel the election.
The tribunal, in a four hour judgment, upheld the decision to cancel the elections in the 207 polling units including the supplementary elections on March 23 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying that the Commission by virtue of the Electoral Act and its own guidelines, has the constitutional powers to cancel and order for a re- rerun of the elections in the affected areas.
The tribunal observed that contrary to the claims of the petitioners, agents of the PDP were directly responsible for the cancellation of the said results, pointing out that from the analysis of the testimony of their witnesses, the cancellation of the election results of some polling units at Gama Ward was not occasioned by the sudden presence of the deputy governor at the centre.
The tribunal also observed that the oral testimonies of most PDP witnesses as well as their deposition on oath had several discrepancies and were to a large extent contradictory, noting that the petitioners witness, Dr. Umar Tanko Yakasssai, had himself admitted that he was responsible for the snatching of results of Gama ward, holding it entirely to himself for an hour before submitting it to the police.
The tribunal also held that some of the documents tendered by the petitioners were not stamped nor the certified true, while lamenting that the petitioners were granted access by the tribunal to make copies of the original documents of the materials used by INEC to conduct the polls.
In his reaction at the premises of the court, state chairman of PDP, Rabiu Bichi, disclosed that the party would go home and look at the judgment before deciding on what would be their next line of action..