KADUNA, Nigeria – The Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna State, on Monday, reserved judgment for Nov. 7, on the appeal by Alhaji Isah Ashiru, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the March 9, 2019 election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ashiru and his party, PDP, had approached the Appeal Court to challenge the verdict of the Kaduna State Governorship Tribunal that upheld the return of Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as duly elected by majority and lawful votes.
The Justice Ibrahim Bako-led Tribunal had dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party and it’s candidate for lacking in merit.
The petitioners had presented 135 witnesses with various documents to buttress their allegations of malpractices, including ballot box stuffing, snatching of election materials and interruption of the process by thugs.
However, both the Appellant and three respondents adopted their respective briefs when the case came up for hearing before the five-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice U.I Anywu on Monday, Nov. 4 in Kaduna.
The counsel to the three respondents, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Nasiru Aliyu; that of Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) and that of the APC, Ibrahim K. Bawa, (SAN) all asked the Appeal court to dismiss Ashiru’s appeal for lacking merit.
The respondents asked the Appeal court to uphold El-Rufa’s victory, as declared by the Tribunal.
However, Counsel to Ashiru and the PDP, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) after adoption of his briefs, declined further comment on the case until judgment was delivered on Thursday.
Justices H.A.O. Abiru, T.Y. Hassan, B.M. Ugo and B.B. Aliyu are members in the Justice Anyawu-led Appeal panel.