Kalshingi H Jedidah
Gombe State governorship election petition tribunal yesterday dismissed the petition filled by the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress Alh Inuwa Yahaya which was challenging the victory of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo as governor lawfully elected during the 2015 governorship election in the state.
The Tribunal chairman, Justice Mohammad Surajo in his ruling stated that the decision by the Tribunal was on the grounds that, the petition was lacking in merit.
The APC’s candidate being one of the twelveth contestants in the 2015 state governorship race submitted in the petition through his counsel that the said election as conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC in the state was marred by election malpractices which include over voting, mutilation, alteration of ballot papers, non compliance to the electoral act, and other electoral offences, which the Tribunal held that, all claims in evidence by the petitioner were not substantial enough to affect the election, as the petitioners failed to prove the allegations contained in the petition.
Counsel to the second respondent Barr Zubairu Umar, stated in an interview with journalists that, the tribunal did what was expected by ruling in favour of the respondent in accordance to the rule of law, as a result of the weak nature of the petition, ” the petitioners brought in a very week case, and we put in a very rubost defence, so at the end of the day justice has been done.” He added.
Similarly, counsel to the petitioner, Barr Abdulganiyi Bello, described the proceedings as a contest in which there must be a winner and a loser, even as he said, the tribunal judgement was well delivered with all sence of humor, and that as lawyers in the temple of justice, they received the judgement with good faith.
Bello however stated that, its effort in the matter was a first step. He disclosed that, counsels to the petitioners would further examine the judgement after which they would make consultations with their client in other to decide the next line of action.
Also speaking on the matter, INEC’s counsel Barr Yahaya Dangana said the court verdict was a clear indication that the electoral body has been vindicated from all the allegation that the governorship election in the state was a fraud.
Dangana however, reiterated that, as far as elections were conducted by humans they were not free from imperfections, he said, “100% perfection in respect to elections can never be achieved, as elections are not conducted by angels, human imperfection is therefore necessary to be recorded, but in these imperfections the Tribunal has just held that, it is not substantial enough to invalidate the election, and this is a clear vindication.” He said.