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JUST IN:How NNPP, Governorship supporters drove us out of Kano State -Tribunal judge Explain

The Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which on Wednesday voided the declaration of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf as winner of the March election, has come down hard on his supporters for threatening the lives of the panelists while the trial was on.….CONTINUE READING>>>>>

The tribunal accused the supporters of ‘chasing’ the panelists out of Kano, saying that such conduct smacked of terrorism and anarchy.

It declared that no judge worth his salt would abandon the course of justice for intimidation.

A similar tribunal in Benue State yesterday upheld the election of Governor Hyacinth Alia.

A member of the Kano State tribunal, Justice Benson Anya, said in his judgment that it was wrong of any individual or group to “threaten the entire polity of Kano State with violence” because of a court decision.

Anya’s judgment runs from page 225 to page 228 of the tribunal’s full verdict.

He said: “The judges of this tribunal were harassed, intimidated and made to run under cover. What is the offence of the judiciary?

“The Respondents contributed heavily to the success of this petition. At the pleading stage they made critical admissions. At the trial stage they supplied critical and important documents. Yet at the judgment stage the 2nd Respondent (Yusuf) does not want this tribunal to stand by justice by stating the truth of the matter.

“They took the position as was widely reported in the media both print and social that if they lose the case, they will kill the judges and put the residents of Kano on fire.

“We are also citizens of this country in Kano to discharge our lawful duties. We have not committed any offence by performing our duty at adjudication.

“My message to the bandits in politics who want to take power by force is that the judiciary cannot be intimidated. The judiciary will never run away from justice.

“A party who loses a case or anticipates the loss of his case can only prepare to appeal against the decision of the lower court or prepare to appeal. This is what is obtainable in a civilised society.

“Kano State, as we all know, is a cradle of civilization. No party on account of losing a case or on the basis of speculation of the possible loss of a case threatens to go on the rampage against the Court and Honourable Judges.

“It is wrong to threaten the entire polity of Kano State with violence. A party must not threaten terrorism and mayhem on the people.

“The decision of the court must not be taken personal as to warrant an attack and violence against the Judiciary functionaries as threatened by the agents of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents.”

He condemned “the gang of Red Cap wearers who, like a violent and terrorist cult, chased us out of Kano and put us in the fear of our lives.

“We believe that only Allah is the giver of power.”

Continuing, Justice Anya said: “Those who believe in Allah must bow to his will and submit to the authority of governmental power.

“Resort to anarchy, violence and killing can never be a source of lawful power.

“Threatening to put Honourable Judges in the danger of their life as done in Kano by some disgruntled bandits parading as politicians is hereby condemned.

“Every judge worth his salt will always abandon and ignore any form of threat to stand by justice and pronounce justice.

“This tribunal in the lead judgment has pronounced judgment, and we stand by justice.

“I concur with the lead judgment and commend my Lord the chairman for delivering judgment under the threatened fire and brimstone by bitter losers.

“There is always another day for politics.

“I am in no doubt that the security agencies know and are aware of those who removed their eyes from their case and put it on the judiciary.

“They are also aware of those who extended the threat further by declaring that they will kill the judges.

“This threat must not be swept under the carpet.

“Instead of some Kano politicians to be allowed to use banditry and violence to abort democracy in Kano State, justice will be used to stop them from destroying democracy in Kano and upward.

“We do not want anarchy and terrorism as being promoted in Kano State and as threatened by them.

“As human beings and citizens of this country, we love our lives.

“Nobody must be allowed to threaten to put our lives in jeopardy because we are judges charged by law to do justice.

“We are under the protection of Allah first and of the law.”

The threats were the main reason the judgment was delivered by Zoom.

Shehu Sani faults tribunal

Human rights activist Shehu Sani appeared unimpressed yesterday with the tribunal’s choice of words in its condemnation of the NNPP supporters.

Sani, writing on his X (formerly Twitter) handle @ShehuSani, underlined such words as “the gang of Red Cap wearers who like a violent and terrorist cult…”; “…disgruntled bandits parading as politicians is hereby condemned”; and “…threatened fire and brimstone by bitter losers,” which he did not find amusing.

He said: “In the Tribunal Judgement that was crafted to remove Osun Governor Adeleke, Buga dance was mentioned. In the tribunal judgment that was crafted to remove Kano’s Governor Abba Yusuf, this is the pattern.

Penultimate Friday, Yusuf had fired his Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning, Adamu Kibiya, for allegedly threatening the lives of the panelists.

The sacked governor also dismissed the Special Adviser on Youth Development, Aliyu Yusuf-Imma, for disparaging Vice President Kashim Shettima on social media.

He distanced himself from the “unguarded utterances”, according to the Commissioner for Information and Internal Affairs, Baba Halilu-Dantiye.

In voiding Yusuf’s election, the tribunal declared the All Progressives Congress candidate, Nasir Gawuna, winner of the governorship poll.

It deducted about 165,000 votes from the 1,019,602 credited to Yusuf by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the grounds that the ballots were neither stamped nor signed as required by law.

Yusuf and his party, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) have signified their intention to proceed on appeal.

Benue Tribunal upholds Governor Alia’s election

By a unanimous decision, the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi yesterday upheld the victory of Gov Hyacinth Alia in the March 18 election.

Chairman of the Panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, who read the judgment, said that the Tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre-election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Only the Federal High Court, according to Karaye, has the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.

He described the petition as an abuse of court process because a similar case had been filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.

He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.

Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.

He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 governorship election and, therefore, dismissed the case.

The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.

The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election not qualified to contest.

They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.

They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, and should therefore be disqualified.

They prayed, among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.

They also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC withdrawn.

The petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.

However, the respondents in their counter arguments urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.

The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division had, before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter filed by the petitioners, but they did not appeal the judgment till date.

They also said that the issues raised were all pre-election matters and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.

The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners’ case was status barred and should be struck out.

They said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.

Alia: I dedicate my tribunal victory to God

Moments after the judgment Alia dedicated his victory at the tribunal to God.

“It is victory for democracy and the rule of law,” he said in his first reaction.

He said the judiciary has once again demonstrated that it is the last hope of the common man.

“No might is powerful enough to thwart the supreme will of the people and claim power through the back door,” he said.

He reassured the good people of the state of his commitment to their welfare at all times.

He said: “I appreciate and recognise the fact that this victory is that of the people to whom sovereignty and power truly belongs. As such, I’m rededicating myself to the service of the people and the strengthening of democratic values across the state.”

He called for the support of all and sundry, including members of the opposition, in moving the state forward.

PDP rejects verdict, heads to Appeal Court

The Benue State chapter of the PDP rejected the judgment and said it would take the matter to the Court of Appeal.

“After a review of the judgment with its team of lawyers, PDP believes that it does not meet the requirements of substantive justice and is not in alignment with extant electoral laws, guidelines and regulations,” Publicity Secretary Bemgba Iortyom, said in a statement in Makurdi.

He said the PDP had directed its lawyers to approach the Court of Appeal, Abuja within the time frame specified by law.….CONTINUE READING>>>>>

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