Gombe: Tribunal Affirms Inuwa Yahaya’s Victory, Dismisses Petitions Of PDP, ADC
The Gombe State Governorship Election Tribunal has affirmed the re-election of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya and dismissed the petitions of the Governorship Candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP Jibrin Barde, and that of the Africa Democratic Congress, ADC, and its candidate, Nafiu Bala who challenged the return of Inuwa Yahaya and his Deputy, Manassah Daniel Jatau of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The three-man panel in its unanimous judgment dismissed the two petitions for lack of merit.
On the petition filed by the PDP and its candidate, the tribunal described it as vague, nebulous, lacking in particularity, baseless, and an academic exercise.
The PDP had alleged that there were electoral malpractices and that Inuwa Yahaya was not elected by a majority of lawful votes cast.
The Tribunal however struck out the petition due to the failure of petitioners to provide witnesses and proofs to drive home their legal challenge.
Earlier addressing ADC’s petition, the tribunal, in its judgment read by Justice S.B Belgore on behalf of the three-man panel, held that the petition of the ADC and its candidate lacked merit, and so was dismissed accordingly.
The ADC was challenging the declaration and return of Inuwa Yahaya over alleged multiplicity and variations in the arrangement of names on the certificates of his deputy without accompanying affidavits to prove authenticity.
The court struck the matter, saying it was a pre-election issue and that the deputy had met the minimum requirement to run.
In respect to ADC’s allegations of voter inducement, corrupt practices, and noncompliance with the electoral act, the tribunal held that the allegations were mere academic exercise as the petitioner failed to identify or mention a single case in point where such alleged infraction took place.
“I affirm that the petition by the African Democratic Congress ADC against the return of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya as the duly elected governor of Gombe State lacks merit on all fronts and that the election of the first and second respondents as winners of the March 18th Guber polls is valid and lawful”. the judge held.