Sokoto election Tribunal admits evidence against Governor, Deputy


The Election Petition Tribunal in Sokoto State on Tuesday adjourned sitting to July 19 having admitted in evidence, two letters on Deputy Governor, Idris Gobir’s, educational qualifications.

Justice Haruna Mshelia, the tribunal Chairman, adjourned the case after the Peoples Democratic Party and the 2023 Governorship candidate, Sa’idu Umar, closed their testimonies to prove their petition.

Mshelia adjourned for the All Progressives Congress, Governor Ahmad Aliyu, and Gobir to open their defence while the exhibits admitted were from the Saboon Birni Local Government Education Authority that were tendered by Mr Muyiwa Akinboro SAN, the lead Counsel to the PDP, and its 2023 Governorship candidate, Alhaji Sa’idu Umar.

The last among 32 witnesses lined up to prove the petition at the Tribunal was Akinboro, who led the state party chairman, Bello Goronyo.

According to Goronyo, he delegated some party members as agents and received reports on election violence and associated frauds that were compiled and submitted to Independent National Electoral Commission and other relevant authorities.

Some persons, he admitted were arrested for alleged violence and malpractices but could not attest to being prosecuted or not.

Testifying before the tribunal, the party chairman explained that he was not aware of any court judgment on Gov. Aliyu and his Deputy, Gobir’s eligibility to contest elections.

Abdulmumini Usman, the Head of Operations of INEC in Sokoto, who produced some election documents in evidence, was represented by Akinboro.

Jacob Ochidi, SAN, the lead Respondents’ Counsel and that of the APC, Hassan Liman SAN, objected to the admissibility of documents and further cross-examined the witnesses.

Mr AbdulAziz Sani, SAN, INEC lead Counsel, also aligned himself with the submissions of the respondent’s counsel.

Umar and PDP approached the tribunal demanding the nullification of the March 18, 2023 election that produced Gov. Ahmad Aliyu of APC and his Deputy, Idris Gobir as winners, alleging in the petition that the election was flawed and did not comply with electoral laws.

The petitioners argued that the respondents were not qualified to contest the election and prayed that by virtue of the non-qualification of the Respondents to contest the election, votes were wrongfully attributed to them.

They argued that the said election has become unlawful, null, and void and further prayed the tribunal to mandate INEC to issue a new certificate of return to the petitioner as the duly elected Governor of Sokoto State having scored the majority of the lawful votes cast or ordered for another election excluding the respondents.

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