UPDATED: Tribunal upholds Adamawa gov’s election

Adamawa State Governorship Electoral Petitions Tribunal on Saturday dismissed the petition filed by Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani against Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

The Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Binani, had approached the court seeking to quash the declaration of Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, as elected governor of Adamawa, in her petition challenging the governorship election conducted by the electoral body in the March 18, 2023, governorship polls for Adamawa.

Binani, in her petition, which had NEC, Fintiri and People’s Democratic Party as the first, second, and third respondents, respectively, asked the Adamawa governorship election petition tribunal to annul the governorship election over non-compliance with the electoral act.

In her judgement, the Chairman of the tribunal, T. O. Uloho, dismissed the petition brought by Sen. Binani and affirmed the victory of Governor Umaru Fintiri, the declared winner of the March 18th governorship election in Adamawa.

Uloho in her lead judgement delivered on behalf of the 3-member panel, said while dismissing the petition, “The petitioner woefully failed to establish their allegations of non- compliance with the electoral act and prove their case with cogent, credible and satisfactory evidence.”

The tribunal further held in its judgement that the court is an adjudicator and not an investigator, saying that all the petitioners’ witnesses came with documentary hearsay and failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Recall that INEC on April 18, declared Governor Fintiri the winner of the Adamawa governorship election after a supplementary election was held to conclude the governorship election after it was initially declared inconclusive.

INEC returning officer, Muhammed Mele, declared Fintiri the PDP winner, after polling, 430,861 votes to defeat his major counterpart Aisha Binani of the All Progressives Congress who polled 398,788.

However, in his reaction to the tribunal verdict upholding his election, Governor Fintiri, heaped praise for the judiciary.

According to the governor, the judiciary has once again shown in its adjudicatory role that justice is not a stock that is for sale.

The governor, who said he would use the victory to work for the exponential growth of her people also extended the olive branch to Binani whose party has indicated it would appeal the court ruling.

Fintiri, in his X account, formerly Twitter, said, “Our tribunal’s verdict is a triumph of justice. To my fellow candidates who fought valiantly but didn’t prevail, I extend an olive branch and urge everyone to leave divisive comments behind. Let’s unite and soar on the wings of progress, building a brighter future for Adamawa together.”

Meanwhile the APC in the state while rejecting the tribunal verdict said it would appeal the ruling.

Adamawa APC state party chairman, Barrister Idris Shuaibu, said the court judgement came as a huge shock to the party. He said it would await the certified true copy of the judgment before taking the next step of seeking judicial review of the judgment in the appellate court.

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