Jibrin criticises appeal court ruling, pledges to win rerun

Abdulmumin Jibrin
Abdulmumin Jibrin

A sacked lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has criticised Friday’s decision of the Court of Appeal in Kaduna to relieve him of his position.

Mr Jibrin who stated his reservations about the judgement said he would accept the decision in good faith, “as a faithful Muslim and true democrat.”

The All Progressives Congress former lawmaker, who made this known in a statement on Friday night, also said he believes he would win the rerun election ordered by the court.

The Court of Appeal Friday ordered fresh elections in Mr Jibrin’s Bebeji/Kiru constituency after deciding that the results submitted for the entire constituency where invalid.

The decision followed the court’s acceptance of the petition by Mr Jibrin’s contender, Aliyu Datti of the Peoples Democratic Party whose complaint regarding the election had been dismissed by the tribunal in Kano.

After collating the results for the elections in February, INEC’s Returning Officer for Kiru/Bebeji federal constituency, Bello Tijjani, declared Mr Jibrin the winner of the 2019 elections in the constituency after announcing that Mr Jibrin polled 41,070 votes to defeat his closest contender, Mr Datti, who was said to have recorded nearly 100 votes less than Mr Jibrin.

That declaration was however not without a dramatic scene where an agent of the PDP, Bashir Illyasu, protested Mr Jibrin’s declaration as the winner and alleged that INEC officials in connivance with the ruling APC destroyed the results of elections in six polling units.

The National and State Legislative Houses elections petition tribunal headed by Nayai Aganaba however dismissed a petition challenging Mr Jibrin’s emergence after ruling that Mr Datti and the PDP failed to prove allegations of substantial non-compliance to the electoral guidelines during the elections.

But that decision was upturned by the court of Appeal on Friday which ordered fresh elections in the entire constituency.

Mr Jibrin said the appellate court acted outside the request presented to it by the petitioners and argued that the judgement was not in conformity with previous decisions of the Court of Appeal.

“As you may be aware, the decision of the people of Bebeji/Kiru to renew their trust in me to represent them at the House of Representatives was challenged vide an election petition.”

“In the petition, the court was specifically asked to nullify the results of the 23rd February, 2019, election in 13 polling units. Of the 13 Polling Units challenged, only one witness, who was not listed on the petitioners’ list of witnesses, and who deposed to being both a member of the All progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party member at the same time, gave evidence in respect of all the said 13 polling units. The witness neither personally saw nor did he directly encounter events in the polling units he purported to give evidence about. We pointed this out in our representations to the Judges and the Tribunal agreed with us that the petition was without merit.”

“The petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeal, and by a decision delivered earlier today, the petitioners’ appeal was allowed. Strangely, even though the petitioners’ sole relief as it related to a rerun election before the Tribunal and Court of Appeal was for a nullification of the afore-said 13 polling units, the Court of Appeal, on its own volition nullified the entire election of 23rd February, 2019.”

Mr Jibrin said although he disagrees with the judgement, he believes it is still an act of God and urged his supporters to pray for the judiciary

He pledged his resolve to “remain unshaken” and urged his supporters to remain calm.

Mr Jibrin is well known as the lawmaker who exposed a budget padding scandal in the House of Representatives in 2016 against the wishes of his colleagues. He accused the then House leadership led by Yakubu Dogara of inserting ridiculous projects at huge sums into the budget. He was later suspended from the House by his colleagues.

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