On Monday, the Kano State Election Petition Tribunal reserved judgment in a petition filed by the All Progressive Congress(APC) challenging the victory of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The APC is challenging INEC for declaring Mr Kabir-Yusuf the winner of the March 18 election. Respondents in the petition are INEC, Mr Kabir-Yusuf and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The three-member panel led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, said the tribunal would communicate the date for the judgment after all parties had adopted their final written addresses.
“I am honoured and privileged that this is my first assignment as the Chairman of a Tribunal, and I prayed to God to guide me to uphold the integrity of my job.
“We will be fair. Be rest assured that we will read what the law says, and we will read it to the best of our knowledge,” Mr Akintan-Osadebay said
Earlier, counsel to the APC, Offiong Offiong SAN, in adopting his final written addresses dated July 31, August 6, 7, and 8, replied on points of law.
“We urge the court to adopt our written addresses as our argument and urge the tribunal to uphold our petition and grant our reliefs.
“The second respondent brought two membership registers before and after the election. The membership number is inconsistent.
“It shows that the second respondent was not a member of NNPP before the election; he became a member after the election, and all the ballot papers used in some local governments were not signed, stamped and dated,” said Mr Offiong.
Also adopting, the counsel to INEC, Emmanuel Osayomi filed a written address dated August 1 and filed August 2.
Mr Osayomi urged the court to dismiss the petition on grounds that the petitioner did not prove his case.
The counsel to Mr Kabir-Yusuf, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, filed his final written dated July 31 and filed on August 1.
“I urge My Lord to disregard the position of Pw31 statement of oath dated May 26; there is no evidence,” Mr Awomolo said.
Responding counsel to NNPP, John Olusola-Baiyeshea SAN, adopted his in his written addresses dated July 30 and filed July 31.
He prayed the tribunal to dismiss the petition absolutely, “this is the most unapproved petition”.
The petitioner closed his case with 32 witnesses before the tribunal, while INEC closed their case without presenting any witnesses on July 20.
Mr Kabir-Yusuf closed his case on July 22, with the Secretary to the State Government, Abdullahi Baffa-Bichi as a lone witness. NNPP closed its without calling any witnesses on July 24.