BY LUKA BINNIYAT
KADUNA – Chairman of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Kaduna, Justice G. A. Kwajafa, yesterday, rejected an application for the dismissal of the petition challenging the election of Governor Patrick Yakowa which was filed by the gubernatorial candidate of the Congress for Progress Change, CPC, Haruna Saeed.
Yakowa’s counsel had approached the tribunal seeking the dismissal of the petition on the ground that the petitioner failed to join the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in his petition.
The tribunal also refused to grant leave to Saeed to bring in additional witnesses when hearing on the substantive suit begins next week.
Counsel to Yakowa, Messrs Joseph Daudu, Ustaz Yunus and Emmanuel Toro, SANs, had urged the tribunal to dismiss CPC’s petition on the ground that Saeed did not join PDP which sponsored Yakowa in the election.
They argued that allegations were made against PDP agents in the petition which required the presence of its agents to clarify their roles but they (agents) were not joined.
In his ruling, Justice Kwajafa held that the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) did not make it mandatory for a political party to be joined as co-defendant in an election petition, adding that as such, the petition was not deficient.
Kwajafar, however, said that the tribunal would not entertain allegations made against the party in the course of hearing the case as according to him, the party would not be in a position to defend itself.