By Aliyu Dangida
The Kano State Election Petition Tribunal on Monday reserved judgment in a petition filed by the All Progressive Congress(APC) challenging the victory of Gov. Abba Kabir-Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the APC is challenging INEC for declaring Kabir-Yusuf of the NNPP as winner of the election that was conducted on March 18, 2023.
Respondents in the petition are : INEC, Kabir-Yusuf, and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The three-member panel led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, said that the tribunal would communicate the date for the judgment after all parties had adopted their final written addresses.
“I am honored and privileged that this is my first assignment as the Chairman of a Tribunal and I prayed to God to guide me uphold the integrity of my job.
“We will be fair. Be rest assured that we will read what the law says and we will read it to the best of our knowledge” Akintan-Osadebay said
Earlier, Counsel to the APC, Offiong Offiong SAN, in adopting his final written addresses dated July 31, Aug. 6, Aug. 7, and Aug. 8, replied on points of law.
“We urge the court to adopt our written addresses as our argument and urge the tribunal to uphold our petition and grant our reliefs.
“The second respondent brought two membership registers before and after the election. The membership number is inconsistent.
“It shows that the second respondent is not a member of NNPP before the election, he became a member after the election.
“All the ballot papers used in some Local governments were not signed, stamped and dated”
Also adopting, Counsel to INEC, Emmanuel Osayomi filed a written address dated Aug. 1 and filed Aug. 2.
“We also filed our final written address dated Aug. 14, written address on the admissibility of documents on Aug. 1, and on point of law on Aug. 31”.
Osayomi urged the court to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the petitioner did not prove his case.
Counsel to Kabir-Yusuf, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, filed his final written dated July 31 and filed on Aug. 1.
“We filed our written addresses on points of law dated and filed Aug. 11. we filed an objection to the petition and admissibility of the witness.
“We also filed additional authorities on Aug. 18. I pray My Lord to dismiss this petition.
“I urge My Lord to disregard the position of Pw31 statement of oath dated May 26, there is no evidence,” Awomolo said
Responding Counsel to NNPP, John Olusola-Baiyeshea SAN, adopted in his written addresses dated July 30 and filed July 31.
He prayed the tribunal to dismiss the petition absolutely, “this is the most unapproved petition”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Petitioner closed his case with 32 witnesses before the tribunal, while INEC closed their case without presenting any witness on July 20.
Kabir-Yusuf closed his case on July 22, with the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa-Bichi as a lone witness, while NNPP closed it case without calling any witness on July 24.