Niger Governorship Tribunal Completes Sitting, Adjourns Indefinitely for Judgment

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Niger State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Minna on Tuesday completed its sitting and adjourned indefinitely for judgment.

The Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice John Igboji, told parties to the case that the date for judgment would be communicated to them in due course.

Igboji made the declaration after the submission and adoption of written addresses by counsel to the petitioners and respondents.

Mohammad Ndayako, counsel to the petitioner, Umar Mohammed Nasko and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urged the tribunal to grant their prayers as the documents before it speak for themselves.

Ndayako said for the respondents to present forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was enough justification for the election of the respondent to be annulled and victory given to the petitioner.

Bello Ojonimi Apeh, the counsel of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition based on the evidence before it.

Apeh said: “Exhibits D1 and D2 have laid to rest the question of whether or not the respondents submitted forged documents. By the totality of the evidence in this case, we urge the tribunal to dismiss this petition.”

On his part, the counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), J.J Usman, prayed the court to discountenance the petitioner’s final address on the grounds that it exceeded 40 pages in violation of the 2011 court practice direction.

Nasko, the PDP candidate in the March governorship election in the state, had dragged the APC candidate, Bello, and his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, before the tribunal for allegedly presenting forged academic birth and NYSC certificates to INEC.