The Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Monday upheld the election of governor Nasir El-Rufai as the winner of this year’s governorship election.
Delivering judgement in a petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Isa Ashiru, the Chairman of the three-man panel Justice Ibrahim Bako dismissed the petitioner’s suit for lack of merit.
It will be recalled that the PDP and its governorship candidate in the March 9 poll, Alhaji Isah Ashiru, had petitioned the Tribunal asking it to nullify El-Rufai’s election. The petitioners prayed the in Tribunal to cancel a total of 515, 951 votes which they contended were unlawfully added to the total votes cast during the March 9 poll.
They also accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of adding 391,741 votes to El-Rufai of APC and 124, 210 unlawful votes to the PDP, through wrong or double entry on the result sheets. But in a unanimous judgement which lasted several hours, the chairman of the Tribunal declared that the petitioners failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a massive irregularity in that election as alleged before the Tribunal.
Justice Bako said the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), did not provide any proof that the Independent National Electoral Commission was wrong in returning Governor El-Rufai of the All Progressives Congress as duly elected.
Reacting to the decision of the court El Rufai said the court only reaffirm the mandate that was freely given to him by the people of Kaduna state.
Addressing some of the supporters that thronged the government house to felicitate with him, governor El Rufai said there was no way the PDP candidate would have been voted into office again because of the abysmal performance of the party during its sixteen years in office. He said the reaffirmation of the mandate by the court has given him and his team greater vigour to discharge his responsibilities to the people of Kaduna state.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party’s Chairman in Kaduna State, Mr Hassan Hyet indicated that his party would appeal the Tribunal ruling affirming governors el-Rufai’s election.