The governorship candidate of Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), Abdulkarim Abdussalam, has withdrawn his petition against the reelection of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.
In an eight-paragraph application dated May 17, counsel to Mr Abdussalam, Ibrahim Sa’ad, said he was withdrawing the petition to allow peace to reign in the state.
He cited section 1 (a) and (b) of the Electoral Act to withdraw the petition.
Mr Abdussalam had earlier filed a petition to challenge the victory of Mr Ganduje In the governorship election.
The chairperson of the tribunal, Justice Halima Muhammad, granted the request of Mr Abdussalam’s counsel and struck out the petition.
With this development, the tribunal now has only the petition by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Abba Kabir-Yusuf, on the governorship election won by Mr Ganduje after a controversial complimentary poll.
Meanwhile, the tribunal on Wednesday warned that it would treat any form of misreporting of its proceedings by journalists as contempt of court.
The chairperson, Mrs Muhammad, issued the warning at the inaugural sitting of the governorship election tribunal at Kano State High Court complex, Miller Road, Kano.
“To the members of the fourth estate of the realm, we expect balanced reporting, as any form of misreporting which has the tendency of heating up the polity will be interpreted as a tacit hovering within the precinct of contempt,” Mrs Muhammad said.
She said the tribunal would give a level playing ground to all the political parties to present their cases before the tribunal.
The tribunal, however, warned lawyers against employing technicalities to slow down the dispensation of justice.
“Election petition being sui generis (that is being time-bound) and guided by its own peculiar rules of procedures, unlike the regular cases, the tribunal shall therefore not tolerate the employment of technicalities to stultify speedy dispensation of justice as we do not intend to be caught up in the web of expired petition due to effluxion of time”, she said.
Justice Muhammad also called on the state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Ibrahim Mukhtar, to use his office to guide the bar to adhere to the ethics of the profession.
She added that the tribunal expects the state chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to also work along with the Attorney General to ensure decorum and good conduct of counsel during court proceedings.
“To the police, DSS and other paramilitary agencies involved in the provision of security for the tribunal, we expect that you be on the alert and exercise due diligence in the execution of your duties.
“To the members of the political parties, the tribunal having guaranteed a level playing ground, we do not expect anyone to heat up the polity by doing acts that may be inimical to the security of tribunal and it’s members,” Justice Muhammad warned.
On his part, the chairman of Kano branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Musa Lawan, assured maximum support and cooperation of counsels to the tribunal.
He also advised other counsels to work with the tribunal and avoid any act that will derail or delay the administration of justice.
In his remarks, the attorney-general, Mr Mukhtar, assured of a secure environment for the tribunal during and after the session.
According to him, the tribunal will strengthen the security and democratic system in Kano state by providing an opportunity for parties to present their grievances emanating from the last gubernatorial election.
He said the composition of the tribunal, consisting of two female judges, will serve as an inspiration to female lawyers in Kano, that with hard work the sky is their limit.