Tribunal Upholds Governor Kwankwaso's Election

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Members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and supporters of Kano State governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso broke into wild jubilation at the Miller Road High Court, Kano northwest Nigeria today when the governorship election tribunal upheld the election of Kwankwaso as duly elected governor of the state.

The governorship candidate of the All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, Malam Sagir Takai had dragged Kwankwaso, PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ANPP, and Kano State INEC Commissioner, to the tribunal alleging that the election was fraudulent and thereby seeking for its cancellation.

The petitioner, Takai, was ordered by the court to pay the sum of N50, 000 each to the four respondents as damages.

While ruling today, chairman of the tribunal, Justice Iyabo Oladunni Kasali held that the ANPP’s claim was not backed with substantial, declaring that the process of the election that brought Kwankwaso to power was in compliance with the rules in the electoral law.

Parts of claims of the ANPP and Takai through their counsel, Mahmud Magaji were that in about 23 Local Government Areas of the state, the election was marred with irregularities such as multiple voting, under age voting as well as financial inducement.

But the tribunal punctured all those claims.In her ruling, Justice Kasali said: “The final votes for the first petitioner stand at 1,048, 313 while the first respondent got 1,108,345. So in either way, the complaints raised by the petitioner do not in any way affect the results of the election in 23 Local Government Areas of Kano State.

“The petitioner wanted the Tribunal to conjure and conjecture an anomaly for it, and this is of course what the Tribunal will not do. The Tribunal therefore considers this as an unexplained anomaly.

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“The Petitioner failed to prove the allegations of substantial non compliance with the Electoral Act. The Tribunal is persuaded that the election in 23 Local Government Areas are in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act, and as such cannot grant the relief sought by the petitioner.

“The petition is therefore repealed for lack of merit and the second respondent in the person of Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso is hereby declared as the duly elected Governor of Kano State.”

Mahmud Magaji, showed dissatisfaction over the judgment, and declared that his client was ready to appeal the judgment, “my Lord, we thank your Lordship for the industry and the adroitness put into this case. But we would like to test the efficacy of this judgment at a higher court.”

Kano state Deputy Governor, Dr. Umar Ganduje who was at the court described the judgment as a welcome development and as an indication that Kwankwaso and the PDP were the choice of the Kano people.

At Government House, Kwankwaso addressed thousands of his supporters who thronged in to celebrate with him, stating that he dedicated the victory to God and the Kano people.

By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano

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