The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State, on Friday, denied withdrawing its petition filed at the Adamawa State governorship election tribunal against the victory of Governor Adamu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The APC had in April 2019 challenged the victory of Mr Fintiri at the state’s election petition tribunal following the defeat of the then incumbent governor, Jibrila Bindow, in the last general election.
Mr Bindow had on March 29 conceded defeat to Mr Fintiri after the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the latter as winner of the election. The former governor later made a U-turn and joined his party, APC, to file a petition asking the tribunal to declare him the winner of same election.
According to INEC’s declared results of the Adamawa 2019 governorship election, Mr Fintiri polled 376,552 votes to defeat the former governor, who scored 336,386 votes.
In the petition jointly filed by Mr Fintiri and Adamawa APC, they contended that the election was massively rigged by the then opposition PDP who allegedly carried out over-voting in many parts of the state.
Trouble in APC
However, the APC legal teams on Tuesday created a drama at the tribunal when the party’s lead counsel, Smart Ukpanah, informed the tribunal that his client had filed a motion seeking to discontinue the case.
This motion was supported by the APC vice chairman (Adamawa Central), Aliyu Bakari, who announced appearance for the party.
But Eze Okoye, who is one of the counsel to the APC at the tribunal, led other lawyers to object to the withdrawal motion after it was mentioned. He told the tribunal that he has filed a counter motion on behalf the APC.
The conflicting position of the APC at the petition tribunal forced the court to adjourn. The chairman of the tribunal, Justice A.A Adebara, asked the disagreeing petitioners to go and sort their differences before the next hearing date of the petition.
The APC in Adamawa, thereafter, organised a press conference where it categorically stated it has not withdrawn its petition against Mr Fintiri. The party insisted that the lead counsel and those prompting him acted on their own.
“The state executives of the party is informing the general public that APC as a party has not withdrawn its case before Governorship Election Tribunal challenging the election of Fintiri of PDP governorship candidate.
“We raise our voice loud to clear air and to challenge the purported news making round that the party had withdrawn the case.
“The party has not withdrawn the case and would never, until final conclusion” Mr Bilal said.
He said the case is filed by the party, hence, “nobody or any small group of people have rights to withdraw the case on behalf of the party, without its consent.”