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Tribunal affirms re-election of Yobe governor

Abuja  –  The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal for Yobe sitting in Abuja on Wednesday upheld the re- election of Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe.
In a judgment of the tribunal read by Justice Mojisola Dada, the tribunal held that the petitioners – the PDP and its governorship candidate, Waziri Maina – failed to prove their case.

The tribunal dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

Delivering the judgment, Dada said that out of the 27 witnesses called by the petitioners at the trial, none of them could lead credible evidence to establish or prove the allegations before the court.

She said the petition was incompetent owing to the elicited facts that the entire allegations contained in it were “imprecise, vague and speculative’’.

The  petitioners had asked the tribunal to annul the April 11 re-election of the governor on the ground that he was not validly elected as the poll was fraught with irregularities and monetary inducement.

Respondents to the petition were Gaidam, APC, INEC, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the state, Abu Zuma, and the governor’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC), Zakari Deba.

Counsel to the petitioners, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), had told the tribunal that more than 300,000 registered voters were disenfranchised.

He had also led evidence on the allegation that the REC was financially induced with N15 million to rig the election in favour of the governor.

Specifically, the petitioners had alleged that the governor’s ADC paid N8 million and N7 million into two accounts of the REC with Zenith and Diamond banks, respectively.

The petitioners had tendered documents and subpoenaed officials of the bank to testify to buttress their allegation.

In defending the petition, counsel to Gaidam and APC, Mr Yusuf Ali (SAN), had submitted that in the determination of the petition, the tribunal should rely on law and facts.
“Justice according to law is based on facts, not sentiment, and should be without fear or favour.
“When documents are tendered, they should be linked with the facts of the matter, and are useless without this,’’ he said.

Ali therefore prayed the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

In his submission also, counsel to INEC and the REC, Mr Abeny Mohammed (SAN), described issues raised by the petitioners as “whirlwind in a tea cup or much ado about nothing’’.

“ The Court has no jurisdiction to inquire into criminal matter; secondly, there is no evidence before the tribunal to show that the result of the election was influenced by allegations of malpractice and inducement,’’ he said.

Mr Titus Ashaolu, the counsel to Deba had submitted that his client was not a party to the election and that there was no evidence to prove his involvement in any of the allegations levelled by the petitioners.


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