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Judgment Day For Ganduje, Tambuwal As Tribunals Decide Their Fate

The apprehension in the two states is because
of the complexities of the two cases, including the facts presented by
contending parties.



There is anxiety in Kano and Sokoto states ahead of today’s judgments
by the election petitions tribunals in the cases challenging the
election of Governors Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Aminu Waziri
Tambuwal, respectively.

Daily Trust reports that the apprehension in the two states is because
of the complexities of the two cases, including the facts presented by
contending parties.

The tribunal in Kano is expected to deliver judgment in the petition
filed by Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf and his party, the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the declaration of Ganduje as
governor under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).

The three-man tribunal led by Justice Halima S. Muhammad, had on
September 18, reserved judgment, saying it would communicate the date
for the delivery of judgement to the parties involved. In Sokoto,
Ahmed Aliyu of the APC is challenging the declaration of Tambuwal of
the PDP as governor.

The Sokoto tribunal is led by Justice Abbas Bawale. Both Yusuf in Kano
and Aliyu in Sokoto had joined the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) in their petitions, alleging that the electoral
umpire wrongly returned Ganduje and Tambuwal as winners.

While the case involving Ganduje and Yusuf would be delivered in Kano,
that of Tambuwal and Aliyu was moved to Abuja because of what informed
sources described as “security concerns.”

In Kano, our reporters observed the presence of security personnel at
strategic places yesterday morning, but they later left the locations
in the evening. When contacted, police spokesperson DSP Abdullahi
Haruna, said the state command has set all necessary security
arrangements in place to forestall any possible security breach during
and after the judgment.

“Provision of security everywhere in Kano is not something new, and
this one will not be an exception. We are ready,” he said.

Supporters of both PDP and APC, who spoke to Daily Trust expressed
confidence that their candidates would have the day at the tribunal. A
red cap bearer, Ibrahim Bala, told our reporter that members of the
PDP, especially the Kwankwasiyya faithful, had resorted to fasting and
prayers for the victory of their candidate, Yusuf.

“We are fasting and praying hard for Allah to help our candidate to
emerge victorious at the tribunal,” Bala said.

Another PDP supporter, Abdurrazaq I. Salisu, confirmed that their
members had embarked on fasting and prayers.

“We are praying to Almighty Allah to take Abba Kabir Yusuf to the seat
of power; we all know that he won this election. We voted for him and
the people of Kano voted for him but the election was declared
inconclusive and thereafter someone else was declared winner,” he
said. On his part, Ibrahim Chidi, an APC supporter said he was
confident that the victory of Ganduje would be affirmed at the

“As you can see, I am energetic and confident. I have no fear
whatsoever. I am sure that since the governor was declared winner and
sworn-in, nothing will change. So, we are grateful to God for the
initial victory and we are hopeful about the judgment,” he said.

Another APC supporter, Inuwa Ismail Shadow said the petitioners should
plan ahead of 2023 as he was confident that the judgment will be
passed in favour of Ganduje. But Nazifi Usman Sharif advised that the
people should prioritize peace ahead of any other thing.

“Whoever emerges victorious at the tribunal should be accepted by all
in the interest of peace. We can’t afford any breakdown of law and
order,” he said.

The PDP and Yusuf had in April filed a case at the tribunal on the
grounds that they were not satisfied with the outcome of the
supplementary election held on March 23, after which INEC declared
Ganduje as the winner. PDP and Yusuf told the tribunal that the
supplementary election was not necessary because they won the election
at first ballot.

They also alleged that the supplementary election was marred by
violence and their members were prevented from casting their votes, an
allegation both APC and INEC said were baseless. The petitioners had
presented 34 witnesses and 1,040 documents to support their claim
before the tribunal which began hearing on the matter on May 6.

On its part, INEC which was the first respondent had called three
witnesses, Ganduje who was the second respondent presented four
witnesses, while APC which was the third respondent called only one
witness, arguing that the petitioners did not present any case that
would warrant calling many witnesses.

Both the ruling APC and the PDP in the state said they were also
optimistic about victory in today’s judgment. PDP chairman Dr. Rabi’u
Sulaiman Bichi said his party was expecting nothing but fairness.

“We have presented our facts to the panel and we expect nothing but justice.”

His counterpart in the APC, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, also expressed
confidence that his party would emerge victorious.

“We will win at the tribunal as we won during the election. The
evidence we tendered before the panel are enough to earn us victory.”

Sokoto politicians relocate to Abuja

Like in Kano, there is anxiety in Sokoto even though all the
contending parties have relocated to Abuja where the tribunal will
read the verdict.

Some residents yesterday said they were awaiting the outcome of the
tribunal with a great deal of apprehension because they were not
certain of how the pendulum would swing. Since Monday when the news
broke on the shift of the venue of judgment from Sokoto to Abuja, the
atmosphere has been filled with apprehension especially when the
change in the location where the judgment would be delivered was
attributed to “security threat".

While the PDP in the state expressed confidence in winning the case,
the APC said it was hoping for a just and fair verdict. It would be
recalled INEC had declared Governor Tambuwal winner of the
gubernatorial polls in the state having scored 512,002 votes; while
APC’s Aliyu got 511,660 votes.

Tambuwal won by 342 votes in the final outcome of the inconclusive and
supplementary elections in the state. Not satisfied with the results,
Aliyu dragged Tambuwal to the tribunal alleging irregularities and
“substantial non-compliance with the laid down electoral laws and