The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Gombe on Thursday granted permission to the People for Democratic Change (PDC), All Grassroots Alliance (AGA) and Alliance of Social Democratic (ASD) to withdraw their petitions challenging the election of Muhammadu Yahaya as Gombe Governor-elect.
Newsmen report that Jungudo Muhammad Jungudo of the PDC, Muhammad Ibrahim of AGA and Aliyu Adamu of the ASD, filed a suit challenging the return of Yahaya of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the election.
Also joined in the suit are INEC and the Returning Officer for the election.
Delivering a ruling, a three-men panel, led by Justice Bello Tukur, Chairman of tribunal, ordered the petitioners to pay N250,000 as cost to the defendants’ Counsel Luka Haruna and Caleb Ubale.
The tribunal held that the cost was awarded to the defendant’s counsel, based on Section 30 of the Electoral Act.
In the application for withdrawal, counsel to petitioners, Abdullahi Abdulkadir, argued that his clients decided to withdraw the petitions because the applicants could not perfect and pay the professional fees of their counsels.
Besides, Abdulkadir said, the applicants’ witnesses after being informed of their role were no longer willing to testify because they felt threatened by their role in the case.
Newsmen report that on April 8,, the tribunal ordered INEC to allow candidates of the parties to inspect the electoral materials used in the governorship election