Adamawa governorship election: ACN heads to Supreme Court

Governor Murtala Nyako

The Action Congress of Nigeria in Adamawa has vowed to appeal the verdict of the Court of Appeal in Yola over the February 4 governorship election result.

The appellate court on Saturday ruled in favour of the incumbent, Murtala Nyako of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, agreeing with the Election Tribunal that Mr. Nyako’s election was valid.

The running mate of Markus Gundiri, ACN’s flag bearer in the re-run poll, Abdulrazak Namdas, who spoke shortly after the ruling of the appellate court, said ACN’s lawyers will proceed to the Supreme Court, because the Appeal Court abused processes in arriving at its decision.

The five man panel of the Appeal Court, headed by Zainab Bulkachuwa, had, on Saturday, validated the judgment of the state election tribunal which declared that Mr. Nyako was elected.

Ms. Bulkachuwa in the ruling said, the appellant “was unable to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and therefore decided to adopt the decision of the trial court”.

Ms. Bulkachuwa said “the judgment of the lower tribunal which was delivered on the 25th of July, 2012 is hereby re-affirmed”.

However, the opposition party has faulted the judgment. The party said there is no way that the panel went through the judgment of the trial court thoroughly, because judgment was hastily given in order to beat the constitutional requirement of delivering judgment within 180 days of election.

The Court of Appeal began sitting only 3 days to the expiration of the 180 days requirement set by the constitution.

“It is very obvious that the judges did not have time to go through the judgment of the trial court which has over three volumes with over 400 pages in just three days except if it only wants to rubber stamp the judgment of the lower court,” Mr. Namdass stated.

Counsel to Mr. Nyako, Innocent N’dagba, noted that he suspected that ACN will contest the ruling by the Court of Appeal.

“My Lordship every time an appellant losses before your lordship you should expect an appeal,” he said.

Mr. Nyako has, however, promised to be magnanimous in victory. He urged his opponent to “accept the ruling as a settled matter” saying he wants to extend a hand of fellowship to the ACN, so that together they can join him in his efforts to develop the state.

ACN had filed a petition before the governorship election petition tribunal through its counsel, Akin Olujumi. They suffered defeat as the court ruled on July 25, declaring Mr. Nyako, who was represented by former Attorney General of the federation, Kanu Agabi, as the duly elected governor of the state.

The trial court dismissed the contention of the ACN in its petition, saying it failed to prove that the election conducted by the Independent National Electoral election, INEC, did not “substantially comply with the electoral guidelines”.

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