Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
The Sokoto Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Saturday upheld the election of Governor Ahmed Aliyu and dismissed the petition of Mallam Sa’idu Umar of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) .
The Petitioner, Umar, is challenging the election of Governor Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and deputy Governor Muhammad Gobir over alleged non qualification and electoral fraud during the March 18 governorship election.
In a unanimous judgement, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Haruna Mshelia, said the petitioners were unable to prove the six grounds formulated in the petition.
He said the grounds bordered on alleged ineligibility for Aliyu and Gobir to contest, falsification of certificates, variation of names, election fraud and non compliance with electoral guidelines.
He further stated that the Petitioners were unable to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt as required by law as 70 percent of exhibits were out of context because they relates to State Assembly elections conducted on the same dates.
According to him, to prove forgery, two different documents or persons needed to be presented while the variation of names issues was settled in Supreme Court provisions.
He said three subpoened witnesses were not tenable as they were not makers of the documents from the alleged primary school while other 28 polling units agents testified could not identify themselves along with their roles.
The Tribunal Chairman said the alleged 138 polling units fraud were not adduced to indicate that substantial non compliance of the elections had marred the election outcome.
Mshelia added that the tribunal dismissed all the preliminary objections on competency to institute the case by the Respondents as the petitioners duly linked the grounds in the petition.
He dismissed the petition for lack of merit and failure to prove the allegations by the petitioner.