Yobe: Tri­bunal dis­misses Waziri’s pe­ti­tion against Gaidam

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By John Chuks Azu

The Yobe State Gov­er­nor­ship Elec­tion Pe­ti­tions Tri­bunal in Abuja has dis­missed the pe­ti­tion of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date, Adamu Waziri, chal­leng­ing the vic­tory of Gover­nor Ibrahim Gaidam.

Chair­man of the tri­bunal, Jus­tice Mo­jisola Dada in a judg­ment yes­ter­day held that the pe­ti­tioner failed to prove be­yond rea­son­able doubt the case of sub­stan­tial non­com­pli­ance with the Elec­toral Act, 2010 against Gover­nor Gaidam’s elec­tion.

She con­se­quently dis­missed the pe­ti­tion, stat­ing that what­ever ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties com­plained about are not sub­stan­tial and can­not vi­ti­ate the out­come of the elec­tion as set by the elec­toral law.

Waziri, through his coun­sel, Niyi Ak­in­tola (SAN) had al­leged in the pe­ti­tion that the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC) erred by re­turn­ing Gaidam of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) on the grounds of “wide­spread vi­o­lence and ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the elec­tion.”

The pe­ti­tion­ers had also al­leged that the Aide-de-camp to the gover­nor Zakari Deba, an As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice, had bribed the Res­i­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sioner (REC), Abu Zarma, to in­flu­ence the re­sults of the elec­tion.

The Eco­nomic and Financial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) in its sub­poe­naed re­port con­firmed that the sum of N8 mil­lion and N7 mil­lion were paid into the REC's Di­a­mond Bank PLC and Zenith Bank ac­counts re­spec­tively on April 8 but ex­plained that the REC on April 9 wrote let­ters to the bank for re­ver­sal of the pay­ments.

Jus­tice Dada ob­served that the fact that the REC wrote for a re­ver­sal of the trans­fers on April 9 af­ter re­ceiv­ing a credit alert on April 8 ex­on­er­ated him from any wrong­do­ing, adding that the pe­ti­tion­ers failed to link the said at­tempted bribery to the gover­nor.

On the claims that the REC failed to con­duct elec­tions in Yunusari, Gam­bari and Tam­buwal lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas to favour the gover­nor, the judge ob­served that ev­i­dence by wit­nesses showed that elec­tion held in those ar­eas.

The judge fur­ther ob­served that Waziri did not com­plain of the elec­tion in Po­tiskum where he won con­vinc­ingly.

Re­act­ing to the ver­dict, Gover­nor Gaidam said he was grate­ful to God. “The man­date given to us by the peo­ple of Yobe has been con­firmed by the tri­bunal. It is a vic­tory for democ­racy and the rule of law. I want to as­sure our peo­ple that we will con­tinue to forge ahead in our de­ter­mi­na­tion to im­prove their liv­ing con­di­tions through the pro­vi­sion of so­cial ser­vices. I also want to com­mend the tri­bunal for the painstak­ing work it has done, for hear­ing both sides fairly and for dis­pens­ing jus­tice,” he said.

On his part, Waziri said the judg­ment was thor­ough but reached an il­log­i­cal con­clu­sion that did not add value to the de­vel­op­ment of ju­rispru­dence in Nige­ria.

Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State (2nd left), speaks to his sup­port­ers shortly af­ter the Yobe. Gov­er­nor­ship Elec­tion Pe­ti­tion Tri­bunal up­held his elec­tion as duly elected gover­nor of the state, in Abuja yes­ter­day

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