Nnamdi Felix / Abuja
The Supreme Court on Monday fixed November 20, 2012 to deliver judgment in an appeal brought by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and its governorship candidate, Mr. Markus Gundiri, challenging the decision of Adamawa state Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, both of which upheld the victory of Governor Murtala Nyako of the Peoples Democratic party, PDP, in last February’s rescheduled governorship election in the state.
A Seven man panel of the apex court gave fixed the date after parties in the suit adopted their processes filed in respect of the matter.
The Tribunal and the Court of Appeal had dismissed the petition of ACN and its candidate for their failure to adduce enough evidences before both courts to prove their allegations that the elections was substantially marred by corruption, election malpractices, and violence.
The Tribunal had stated that the allegations by the ACN that the election results in 11 local government areas of the state were substantially marred by irregularities and not validly won by the PDP could not be proved as most of the evidences were based on speculations.
It further held that the statements of the witnesses that the ACN presented were repetitive and lacking in originality to serve any meaningful purpose. Such evidences, it held, could not be relied upon to upturn the election.
It also stated that electoral malpractices were criminal allegations, which should be proved beyond reasonable doubts to justify that they were substantially marred as alleged and held that even in its allegations of underage voting, the petitioners failed to show the name and birth certificate of those alleged to have voted under age.
Both the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal upheld Governor Nyako’s victory and held that the election substantially complied with the 2011 Electoral Act as amended.