25th August, 2015
The immediate past governor of Kano State, northwest Nigeria and Senator representing Kano Central Senatorial District, Engr. Rabi’u Kwankwaso was given a legal backing to continue his legislative business at Nigeria’s Senate today when Kano State National and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal chaired by Justice C. I. Akintayo dismissed the suit filed by Senator Bashir Lado of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, challenging Kwankwaso’s election to the Upper Chamber.
Kwankwaso who finished second at the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential primaries contested and won the Kano Central Senatorial Seat on the platform of APC.
PDP’s candidate for that position, Bashir Lado unsatisfied with the process headed to the tribunal and insisted that Kwankwaso who participated in the APC presidential primaries did not follow due process, in accordance with the Electoral Act to secure his ticket for the senatorial seat.
The petitioner in his originating summons had informed the tribunal that the process through which Kwankwaso emerged as the standard bearer of the APC contravened the provisions the electoral act 2010 as amended.
According to the petitioner, APC informed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that it would stage a primary election on December 8, 2014, stating that, the APC failed to conduct the primary election as announced.
Lado further alleged that, the number of votes that prompted the announcement of governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as senator was in contrast to the actual number of votes cast, noting that, its senatorial standard bearer, senator Bashir Garba Mohammed secured the highest number of votes at the March 28 senatorial election.
He further averred that over 60 per cent of Kano electorates were illiterates, arguing that it is impossible not to have invalid votes, urging the tribunal to declare as invalid the votes scored by Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and proceed to declare Bashir Garba Mohammed as the senator elect representing Kano Central.
Also, the PDP in its petition argued that the substitution of Abba Yusuf with Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as APC senatorial candidate for Kano Central was in contravention of the provisions of the law, adding that, Abba Yusuf did not resign his position as the state commissioner for works as enshrined in the laws, prior to seeking a senatorial ticket.
While delivering the judgment, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice C I Akintayo yesterday at Miller road high court complex venue of the sitting, held that, Bashir Lado and the PDP failed to establish a case of prima facie against Senator Kwankwaso and the APC.
The tribunal squashed all the grounds on which the PDP premise its petition in requesting for the tribunal to nullify the election of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as a senator of the Federal republic, stating that the petitioner did not succeed in convincing the court to set aside the senatorial election of the erstwhile governor.