Election petition: Appeal Court adjourns Ashiru, PDP’s suit to July 3

Alhaji Ashiru

Alhaji Isah Ashiru

Alhaji Isah Ashiru

Justice Muktar Hussein of the Court of Appeal Kaduna, on Thursday adjourned hearing in the appeal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking for the recount of votes cast in the March 9 Governorship election in Kaduna State.

The Justice Hussein-led five-man panel in the appeal, while adjourning the matter to July 3, said it was sequel to the complain by the second respondent in the appeal.

The second respondent, Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai told the Appeal Court that he was only served with the notice of the appeal on Wednesday, June 26.

Ibrahim Bawa (SAN) who represented the 1st respondent, the All Progressives Congress (APC), told newsmen shortly after the adjournment that El-Rufai sought for the adjournment to allow him file his response.

“The appeal by the PDP and Isah Ashiru came up this morning with respect to the interlocutory appeal.

“The parties were represented by counsel in court.

“It was believed the Governor, who is a party in the appeal, has been served before now, but counsel to the Governor informed the court that he was served just yesterday, Wednesday.

“To give him benefit of the doubt and to ensure that all processes are in, the court allowed them to file their reply to the Appeals. The matter was adjourned to July 3rd,” Bawa said.

Also, Mr Dike Udenna, Counsel to the Appellant said: ” the matter came up this morning for hearing of the petitioners’ appeal for recounts of ballot papers used for the governorship elections in Kaduna State.

” Unfortunately, the lawyers to the second respondents (El-Rufai) told the court that he became aware of the Appeal yesterday, Wednesday.

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“Even though the records of the court shows that he has been served since 21st June, 2019.

“For the benefit of the doubt, the court adjourned till 3rd July to allow the party file his reply.

“I believe that the Appeal Court being the superior court of record will do justice to the matter.”

The state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had on May 28, struck out the petitioners’ motion seeking for recount of votes cast in the governorship elections in the state, for lack of merit.

Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Bako, who ruled on the motion, said the tribunal had a timeline of only 180 days within which to complete its assignment.

Bako had said that the Tribunal would not accommodate the motion seeking for the recount of votes.

He had also refused the application for amendment of the motion seeking to narrow the votes recount exercise to only 12 local government areas.

The PDP and Ashiru had asked the Tribunal to order for a vote recount in 12 LGs mostly won by the APC.

The pettitioners had asked that votes for Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi, Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Zaria, Sabon Gari, Makarfi, Kudan, Kubau, Soba and Ikara local government areas be recounted.

The petitioners, dissatisfied with the ruling, headed to the Appeal Court to challenge the position of the Tribunal, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.