From Mathew Jwantu, Minna
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has upheld the election of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State and dismissed the petitions of the PDP and its candidate Umar Nasko for lacking in merit.
On the allegation by the petitioners that the Governorship election in 2019 was marred with intimidation, violence, vote buying among other act of irregularities, the Tribunal says the petitions are bereft of evidences and was bound to fail at arrival
Chairman of the Tribunal, John Ogbuji, described the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Umar Nasco as frivolous and lacking in merit.
Igbuji described the whole petition as vexatious and abuse of judicial process.
He averred that the entire petition had earlier been thrashed at the Federal High Court in Abuja and the court of appeal, wondering why the same issues of certificate forgery still appeared at the tribunal.
Reacting to the judgment, Jibril Samuel Okutepa, Counsel to the First Respondent, governor Abubakar Sani Bello, described the whole petition as judicial amusement.
Okutepa wondered how you alleged certificate forgery and no witness was called from the University of Maiduguri or the NYSC to substantiate the allegation.
Delivering the final verdict, the Tribunal chairman said there was no shred of evidence to support all the allegations.
He said the petition ERS were not entitled to all the reliefs sought.o
Justice Igbuji dismissed the entire petition .He therefore awarded fifty thousand naira costs against the three petitioners, is, the governorship candidate, his running mate, and the PDP.
Reacting to the judgement, secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane said the judiciary has again proved itself strong in the protection of democracy and the rule of law in the country.
Ahmed Matane further stressed that the resounding victory of the Governor at the Tribunal is an indication of the trust, confidence and integrity reposed in him by Nigerlites to take the State to the NEXT LEVEL, adding that the people of the State are proud of the magnificent achievements recorded by his administration despite the enormous challenges.
The SSG while congratulating Nigerlites on the victory stated that “I had no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the Governor would come out victorious, considering the massive support the people of the State gave him before and during the March 9 Governorship Election”.
He congratulated the Nigerian Judiciary for living up to expectations by doing the right thing, stressing that with this judgment, a precedent has been set on electoral matters in the country.
Your successes in Security, Agriculture, Health, Education, Economic revitalization, Infrastructural Development, Youth and Women Empowerment as well as Zero tolerance for Corruption are testimony that indeed Niger State is on the real path to sustainable growth and development, the statement added.
The SSG reiterated that the present administration led by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello would not relent in its quest to give the people of the State true, qualitative, purposeful and transformational leadership that will bring about increased dividends of democracy to the citizenry.
He called on the people of the State to continue to support the programmes and policies of the present administration for the growth and development of the State and the country at large.