Tribunal dismisses PDP’s petition against Uba Sani’s election

Uba Sani
Uba Sani. [Photo credit: City People Magazine]

The National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Kaduna on Saturday dismissed the petition of Lawal Adamu against the election of a senator, Uba Sani, for lack of evidence.

Mr Adamu, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 National Assembly election had asked the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Kaduna Central Senatorial District.

Uba Sani, a former Political Adviser to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, won the February 23, 2019 election with 355,242 votes.

Mr Adamu who emerged second in the poll scored 195,497 votes while Shehu Sani of PRP was a distant third with 70,613 votes.

The tribunal had earlier dismissed the petition of Shehu Sani against Uba Sani’s election.

However, Mr Lawal and the PDP approached the tribunal alleging that the election was marred by massive rigging, ballot stuffing, ballot snatching and violence in some parts of the senatorial zone.

The petitioners also alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the electoral Act 2010 in the conduct of the poll.

They equally alleged that Uba Sani did not resign his appointment as an official of the Government of Kaduna State before contesting the poll and that violated the Electoral Act.

However, Chairman of the three-member tribunal, Adamu Suleiman, in a judgment that lasted three hours, said that Mr Adamu and his party failed to provide substantial evidence of all allegations contained in the petition.

He said that the petitioners presented 38 witnesses before the tribunal who failed to present convincing evidence to warrant the nullification of Mr Sani’s election.

According to him, most of the information the witnesses gave under cross-examination were in variance with what they presented to the tribunal in writing.

The chairman said the petitioners and their witnesses failed to provide evidence of allegations of over-voting, massive rigging, ballot snatching and violence in some parts of Birnin Gwari, Igabi and Giwa LGs as contained in their petition.

Mr Suleiman said most of the witnesses told the tribunal that the elections were conducted in those affected areas within the time stipulated by the electoral act 2010.

He said that some of the information on allegations of massive rigging, ballot stuffing and violence in polling units were obtained by proxy and “the court would not use third party information/hearsay as evidence as contained in the petition.”

The tribunal chairman added that the petitioners did not tender material evidence of either voters register or voters cards to prove the allegation of INEC’s non compliance with the Electoral Act.

The tribunal also dismissed the petitioners allegation that Uba Sani did not resign his appointment as Political Adviser to Gov Nasiru El-Rufai as baseless.

Frank Ikpe, lead counsel to Uba Sani, hailed the tribunal for a fair judgment.

He thanked all those that contributed to the success of the case and urged those not satisfied with the ruling to proceed to the Court of Appeal.

Read also: Shehu Sani vs Uba Sani: Tribunal sets date for ruling

Meanwhile, counsel to Mr Adamu and Felix Hyat of PDP, who were present at the court, declined comment on the verdict.

In another development, the tribunal has fixed Monday, August 26, to rule on the petition of Barnabas Bantex, former deputy governor of Kaduna State.

Mr Bantex, who contested for Senate under APC to represent Kaduna South Senatorial district, is challenging the re-election of Danjuma Lah of the PDP in the February 23, 2019 polls.



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