Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The governorship election petition tribunal in Kano State yesterday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) access to all electoral materials used in the gubernatorial poll.
In an exparte motion filed before the tribunal, which was presided over by Justice Halima Shamaki, counsel to PDP governorship candidate, Abba Kabir Yusuf, Maliki Umar Kuliya, had sought the order of the tribunal to direct the first respondent (INEC) to allow PDP access materials used for the conduct of March 9 and 23 governorship elections.
In her five-count prayers, the PDP lawyer wanted the tribunal “to direct the 1st respondent to forthwith grant access to the petitioners/applicants and their solicitors, agents, experts and other staff to inspect, photocopy, scan, pay for and obtain certified copies of all the documents used by the 1st respondent for the conduct of the Kano State governorship election held on March 9 and 23, 2019, for the purpose of instituting and maintaining an election petition, the said documents being the ones contained in the schedule attached to the supporting affidavit to this application.”
In her ruling, Justice Halima granted the PDP prayers, directing INEC to surrender photo copies, scan and other certified materials used in the conduct of Kano State elections.
The chairperson of the three-member governorship tribunal, however, ordered for two or three members of All Progressives Congress (APC) (respondent) as observers during the inspection exercise.
PDP still has less than five days to file its petition against the ruling party having exhausted almost 15 days out of the 21 days provided by the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
The gubernatorial candidate of PDP, Abba Kabiru Yusuf, is challenging the declaration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of the APC as winner of the March 23 supplementary election in the state.