Appeal Court dismisses  Binani’s petition seeking Gov Fintiri’s removal

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Sen. Aisha Binani seeking to invalidate the election of Gov. Umar Fintiri as governor of Adamawa.

The court  held that Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) was lawfully declared winner of the poll by the Adamawa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

In a unanimous judgment by a three-member panel led by Justice Tunde Awotoye , the petition was dismissed the on grounds of abnormalities.

The court also held that Binani and APC failed to call polling agents who participated in the conduct of the election as witnesses but unfortunately called Campaign Coordinators who were not at the election venue.

Justice Awotoye said that the three witnesses called to establish malpractices in 27 Local Government Areas who were Campaign Coordinators are mere hearsay witnesses having not been party agents.

The Court held that it is against the law to attach probate values to the testimony of the Campaign Coordinators since such is worthless in the face of the law.

Besides, Justice Awotoye said that the brief of argument filed by Binani and APC was in contravention of the law, hence, incompetent and deserved to be ignored.

The court held that the records of appeal transmitted to the Court of Appeal by Binani and APC were not complete and in law mot incompetent for the Court to make any finding.

The Court declared as illegal act, the declaration of Binani and APC as winners of the election adding that the only authority to make declaration is the Returning Officer.

The Court also said that it was wrong for Binani to be taking Panadol for the headache of the Resident Electoral Commissioner REC who opted to take laws into his own hand.

“In the eyes of the law, the Resident Electoral Commissioner is on his own. He should be allowed to take responsibility for his illegal and unlawful act”

The court dismissed the appeal in its entirety and awarded a cost of N1million to be paid to Fintiri and PDP by Binani and APC.

After the supplementary election, the Independent National Electoral Commission announced Fintiri as the winner of the polls with 430,861 votes while Binani of the APC polled 398,788 votes.

Binani then approached the tribunal citing allegations of corrupt practices and non-compliance to the Electoral Act.

The Adamawa State Governorship Electoral Petitions Tribunal had, in October, dismissed the petition filed by Binani seeking the removal of Fintiri’s from office.

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