The Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna has dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate in the 2023 governorship election, Isah Ashiru against the victory of Governor Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Contrary to viral stories going round in the media space falsely reporting that the tribunal has declared the election inconclusive, the three-member panel headed by Justice Victor Oviawie actually dismissed the petition by the PDP and its governorship candidate on the ground that the pre-hearing notice was filed out of time and therefore deemed to be abandoned.
The tribunal chairman and another member of the panel in the majority decision upheld the preliminary objection by the first and second respondents which prayed the tribunal to strike out the Petition because the filing of the pre-hearing notice was abandoned and out of time, stating that this had dealt the entire petition a fatal blow. It therefore dismissed the PDP and Isah Ashiru’s petition for being incompetent.
However, the tribunal noted that if the petition had not been dismissed for being incompetent, it would have ordered a supplementary election in 22 polling units within 90 days in the substantive judgement.
In the March 18th governorship election, the APC’s Senator Uba Sani polled a total of 730,001 votes to defeat his closest rival, Isah Ashiru of the PDP, who scored 719,196 votes.
The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Jonathan Asake came a distant third with 58,283 votes, while Suleiman Hunkuyi of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) scored 21,405 votes.
While the Labour Party and NNPP accepted the outcome of the election, the PDP and its candidate rejected the results and lodged a petition before the Tribunal alleging that there were massive irregularities and manipulation of results in favour of Governor Uba Sani in some local governments by INEC. According to them, the APC candidate did not score the highest number of valid votes cast in the election and ought not to have been returned winner of the election by INEC.