By Umar Faruk, Birnin Kebbi
The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja has reserved it’s judgment on the appeal filed by the Governorship candidate of People’s Democrat Party(PDP),Kebbi State in the 2023 Governorship election,Gen(rtd). Aminu Bande against, Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Gov. Nasir Idris, Deputy Gov. Abubakar Umar Tafida and All Progressives Congress(APC).
At the proceedings,the appellant’s Counsel,D.D Dodo(SAN)who adopted all his briefs of argument c
before the three members panel,led by Hon. Justice Ndukwe Anyannwu alongside with Hon. Justice Ekanem and Hon justice Binta , on behalf of appellant’s, urged the Court to allow the appeal filed before them.
He argued that,the Tribunal which sat in Birnin Kebbi that upheld election of 2nd and 3rd respondents, which was declared by the INEC,was a judgment in error for upheld that the testimonial presented by the 3rd respondents to the INEC was a forged document.
Daniel Dodo cited P5158 and P5372 to buttressed his argument, adding his clients matter is not a pre-election issue, rather a constitution matter which as other political party, could bring to election tribunal for determination.
Counsel to the first respondant, Usman O. Sule(SAN) who responded to the appellant’s briefs, adopted his replied to the appellant’s appeal as his legal argument and urged the Court to dismiss the said appellant’s appeal with substantial cost.
Sule, argued that the appellant’s appeal centered on the INEC CF009 form of the 3rd respondent which was purely a pre-election matter which was not meant for election tribunal.
Counsel to the Governor Nasir Idris,the 2nd respondant,Yakubu C. Maikyau also adopted his responses to the appellent’s appeal before the Court,and stressed that the appellant’s as petitioner at the tribunal failed to discharge their onus burden to prove their petition before the tribunal which earned their case to be dismissed by the tribunal panel.
Yakubu Maikyau, SAN argued that the appellent’s at the tribunal had indicated the documents to be relied upon to prove their case.
He told the Court that the two documents relied upon for the disclaimer,P568 and P570 were instituted by one of the counsel to the appellant’s which contradicted Section 83(3) of the Electoral Act of 2022 and urged the Court to dismiss the appellant’s appeal in totality without any cost.
Counsel to the Deputy Governor as 3rd respondent,Kehinde K Eleja(SAN),submit to the Court that the disclaimers the appellent’s relied upon were not admissable, unreliable to prove allegation of forgery against his client beyond reasonable doubt before the tribunal panel.
He noted that the exhibit P580,which was the reversal on the disclaimer which appellent’s relied upon,the RW3 had confirmed that the testimonial of the 3rd respondant were issued to him by the college.
“My Lordships, with the allegation of forgery before the tribunal, petitioners failed to be prove beyond reasonable doubt,we therefore submit that,the tribunal judgment was right,the allegation was not true. Therefore,we urge this Court to dismiss the appeal of the appellant’s”.
Counsel to the 4th respondant, APC, Abdullahi Yahaya(SAN), in his submission, urged the Court to dismiss the appeal by the appellant’s for lacked of merit because the issue brought before the Panel remained a pre-election matter.
He argued that,the appellant’s were trying to prove qualifications of the 3rd respondent before the tribunal which the evidence they provided before same tribunal failed woefully, adding that,the judgment was not in their favour.
“We urge my Lord to dismiss the appellant’s appeal appeal before your Lordships”.
After adopting all the parties processes, the presiding Judge,Hon.Justice Ndukwe Anyannwu informed all the parties in the appeal that judgment is hereby reserved and parties will be communicated when judgement is ready.