Tribunal Affirms El-Rufai’s Election

The governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Kaduna, Monday, affirmed the reelection of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

The chairman of the tribunal, Ibrahim Bako, read the ruling of the three-member panel on Monday afternoon.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Isa Ashiru, challenged El-Rufai’s victory at the tribunal.

The tribunal struck out the petition for lack of substantial evidence by the opposition.

The petitioners in their final written address asked the tribunal to cancel a total of 515, 951 votes which it contended were unlawfully added to the total votes cast during the March 9 poll.

The petitioners had called 135 witnesses out of the 685 they assembled to prove the alleged massive rigging, ballot stuffing, and other irregularities during the poll as contained in their petition.

The petitioners had accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of adding 391,741 votes to El-Rufai of APC and 124, 210 unlawful votes to the PDP, through wrong or double entry on the result sheets.

But in a unanimous judgment which lasted several hours, the tribunal ruled in favour of El-Rufai, declaring that the petitioners failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a massive irregularity in that election as alleged before the Tribunal.

Justice Bako also said that the petitioner, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Isah Ashiru did not provide any factual proof that the Independent National Electoral Commission was wrong in returning Governor El-Rufai of the All Progressives Congress as duly elected.

The chairman, therefore, dismissed the petitioner’s suit challenging the election of the governor for lacking in merit.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party’s Chairman in Kaduna State, Hassan Hyat, indicated that his party would appeal the Tribunal ruling affirming governors el-Rufai’s election.

The INEC had declared governor El-Rufai as the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship elections with 1,045,427 votes to defeat his closest rival, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Isa Ashiru, who scored 814,168.

The counsel to Mr El-Rufai, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, expressed satisfaction that the tribunal declared his client winner of the election

Author: News Editor

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