In significant legal development, the Kaduna Election Tribunal has delivered its judgment on the petition brought before it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its gubernatorial candidate, Isah Ashiru, contesting the victory of Governor Uba Sani from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election.
The tribunal, comprising a three-member panel headed by Justice Victor Oviawie, reached a decision with two against one. The majority ruled to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the pre-hearing notice had been filed out of time.
What is the PDP petition about?
The PDP and Ashiru had sought legal redress following the election held on the 18th of March, where Uba Sani emerged as the winner according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The PDP premised its argument on the grounds of alleged irregularities on the grounds of alleged irregularities and electoral fraud. It claimed that its candidate (PDP candidate), Isa Mohammed Ashiru, won the election.
The election saw Uba Sani garnering 730,002 votes, defeating his closest rival, Mohammed Isa Ashiru of the PDP, who secured 719,196 votes.
Jonathan Asake from the Labour Party (LP) came in third with 58,285 votes, while Suleiman Hunkuyi from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) scored 21,405 votes.
PDP claims Kaduna state 2023 election was flawed
The crux of the legal battle lay in the PDP and Ashiru’s claim that the election was flawed. However, the tribunal’s majority decision rested on procedural errors, specifically the untimely filing of the pre-hearing notice, which ultimately affected the entire petition.
The ruling stated that the appeal against the dismissal of the petition at the preliminary stage lacked merit due to the improper filing of the notice.
APC and PDP interpret the Kaduna election tribunal judgment to their advantage
Following the tribunal’s judgment, both sides claimed victory, interpreting the ruling to their advantage. Ashiru expressed gratitude for the progress made in their bid to challenge the election result, highlighting the tribunal’s recognition of the need to examine the substantive suit despite the preliminary objection.
He emphasized the tribunal’s acknowledgement of the merits in their case concerning the margin of victory between the leading candidates.
On the other hand, Governor Uba Sani welcomed the tribunal’s judgment as a triumph for democracy, the rule of law, and the validation of the people’s will.
He saw it not only as a victory but also as a call to action, urging the fulfilment of their campaign promises encapsulated in the SUSTAIN agenda.
He praised the judiciary’s strength and considered it a proud moment, reflecting on his historical involvement in advocating for democratic governance in Nigeria.
What you need to know
Newsmen earlier reported that the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna declared the Kaduna governorship election inconclusive.
They reported that the tribunal asked INEC to conduct elections in seven wards, four local governments, and 24 polling units consisting of 16,300 registered voters.
PDP rejects Kaduna tribunal’s judgment
In a statement made available to newsmen, the Kaduna State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the judgment of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal affirming the election of Gov. Uba Sani of All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Mr Alberah Catoh hinted that the party will seek redress at the Court of Appeal.
Catoh added that a review by the PDP’s lawyer indicated that the judgment did not meet the requirements of substantive justice.
Q1: What were the grounds for the dismissal of the petition by the tribunal?
A: The tribunal dismissed the petition based on the untimely filing of the pre-hearing notice, considering it a procedural error affecting the entire petition.
Q2: What were the election results that led to this legal battle?
A: Uba Sani of the APC won the election with 730,002 votes, defeating the PDP candidate who secured 719,196 votes.
Q3: How did both parties interpret the tribunal’s ruling?
A: The PDP and Ashiru saw the tribunal’s acknowledgement of the merits in their case regarding the margin of victory as a positive outcome. Governor Uba Sani considered it a victory for democracy and a call to fulfil campaign promises.
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