The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Yola, the Adamawa State capital presided over by Justice Birtus Sanga has concluded arrangement to deliver a final judgment in a case instituted by the Action Congress of Nigeria( ACN ) gubernatorial candidate, Engr Markus Gundiri challenging the re-election of Governor Murtala Nyako of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) as the duly elected Governor of the state.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday for the adoption of the final address by the counsels, the counsel to Governor Murtala Nyako, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) argued that the petition filed by the ACN candidate was not based on any valid ground but are mostly speculative which had no place in law. According to him, the petitioner had failed to prove his case beyond all reasonable doubt and provide alternative result to prove that he scored the highest number of votes casted.
He also argued that the alleged malpractices raised by the petitioners were reported by agents whose names were not given and whose written report had not been tendered before the court. He urged the court to dismiss the petition for lack of merit.
Similarly the counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) argued that since there are presumptions that Governor Nyako had won the election it was now left for the petitioners to prove otherwise but they had failed to do so. He further stated that the agents of the petitioners had signed the result of the election and that there was no prove that they were forced to sign the result which shows that the PDP candidate won the election therefore they must be bound by the result as he urged the court to uphold the election and struck out the petition for lack of merit.
On his part, the counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) Barrister Hassan Liman argued that all the 66 witnesses presented by the petitioners were neither polling agents or witnesses that were present at the polling units as he urged the tribunal to dismiss the case for lack of merit.
In his own argument, the counsel to the petitioner, Charles Edeson (SAN) told the tribunal that although, he had already filed a written address which was presently before the court to buttress that the election was marred with irregularities, therefore he did not intend to re-state the issues but argued that the election fell short of standard set by the Electoral Act. According to him, out of the 77 witnesses mentioned in the petition they brought 66 who all testify to the fact that the election was marred by malpractices and irregularities.
He further stated that based on their various submission to the tribunal they had proved their case beyond all reasonable doubt and urged the court to declare them winner of the election having scored the highest number of valid votes cast or alternatively order for conduct of fresh election in those areas they are challenging.
In their ruling the three man election petition tribunal presided over by Justice Bitrus Sanga fixed Wednesday July 25th 2012 to deliver the final judgment on the case.