Gombe: Tribunal affirms Gov Yahaya's Victory, dismisses petitions of PDP, ADC

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya 

By Williams Ago, Gombe

The Gombe State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has affirmed the re-election of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya just as it dismissed the petitions of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Jibrin Barde, and that of the Africa Democratic Congress (ADC), Nafiu Bala.

Mohammed Jibrin Barde and Nafiu Bala had, in separate petitions, challenged the return of Inuwa Yahaya and his deputy, Manassah Daniel Jatau of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the announcement of the governorship election.

The three-man panel under the chairmanship of Justice SB Belgore, in its unanimous judgment, dismissed the two petitions for lack of merit. 

On the petition filed by the PDP and its candidate, the tribunal described it as vague, nebulous, lacking in particularity, baseless and an academic exercise.

The PDP had alleged that there were electoral malpractices, and that Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya was not elected by majority of lawful votes cast. 

The tribunal however struck out the petition due to the failure of petitioners to provide witnesses and proofs to drive home their legal challenge.

Earlier, while addressing ADC's petition, the tribunal judgment, which was read by Justice S.B Belgore on behalf of the three-man panel, held that the petition of the ADC and its candidate lacked merit, and so was dismissed accordingly.

The ADC was challenging the declaration and return of Inuwa Yahaya over alleged multiplicity and variations in the arrangement of names on the certificates of Governor Inuwa Yahaya's deputy without accompanying affidavits to proof authenticity.

The court struck the matter, saying it was a pre-election issue and that the deputy had met the minimum requirement to run.

In respect to ADC's allegations on voters inducement, corrupt practices and non compliance with the electoral act, the tribunal held that the allegations were mere academic exercise as the petitioner failed to identify or mention a single case in point where such alleged infraction took place.

“I affirm that the petition by the African Democratic Congress (ADC) against return of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya as the duly elected governor of Gombe State lacks merit in all front and that the election of the first and second respondents as winners of the March 18th guber polls is valid and lawful,” the judge held.
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