Gombe State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal yesterday dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Mohammed Barde against the victory of the state governor Inuwa Yahaya of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The tribunal presided over by Justice S.B. Belgore struck out the case over lack of merit.
Barde alleged in the petition that the election that returned Governor Inuwa as winner was marred by many irregularities including vote buying.
However, the tribunal ruled that the allegation was baseless and that the petitioners failed to prove the alleged election malpractices and therefore struck out the petition.
The judge also struck out a petition filed by the African Democratic Congress (ADC) against the victory of Governor Inuwa Yahaya and his deputy Manasseh Jatau in the 2023 governorship election in the state.
The ADC’s petition was based on the alleged discrepancies in the certificates submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the deputy governor bearing different names.
The tribunal dismissed the petition saying that the case was a pre-election matter and ruled that Jatau ‘has the minimum requirements to run for the office of the deputy governor.
Reacting to the verdict, Governor Yahaya described the judgement of the Gombe tribunal as a victory for democracy and a resounding affirmation of people’s will and trust in his leadership.
He said, “Today, we celebrate a momentous and resounding affirmation of the people’s will and trust in our leadership”, the governor remarked.
“This verdict is a call to greater service, a continuation of our Greater Gombe Agenda, and consolidation of good governance. It is a victory for democracy, a proof of the strength of our institutions, and a reflection of the faith our citizens have in our vision for Gombe State.”
“On behalf of myself and the Deputy Governor, we express our heartfelt gratitude to the resilient people of Gombe State for their support, trust, and belief in our leadership. Your faith in our administration is the driving force behind our commitment to progress and prosperity”.
In statement by the Director-General, Press Affairs, of Gombe Government House, Ismaila Uba Misilli, Governor Yahaya commended the judges of the tribunal for their diligence and thoroughness in handling the case, describing their commitment to upholding justice and the rule of law as commendable.
He also hailed the legal team for putting forth a robust and effective defence, just as he appreciated the leadership and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for their unwavering support throughout this journey.
The governor extended an olive branch to members of the opposition, saying “Gombe is for all, and in the spirit of unity and progress, there are no victors and no vanquished. Together, we shall continue to build a better Gombe for everyone”.