The governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani, has petitioned the Court of Appeal to quash the state governorship tribunal’s alternative decision ordering a supplementary election.
In order to prevent his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rival, Ashiru Isa, from winning, the governor is contesting the alternative majority ruling.
This came after the three-member tribunal panel led by Justice Victor Oviawe issued its main decision on September 28.
The winner’s legal team, led by former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Bayo Ojo, SAN, filed the cross-appeal on his behalf.
In a double-majority decision, the tribunal dismissed Isa’s petition for fatal non-compliance with the regulating laws before proceeding to issue an alternative decision that favored the petitioners, upending the political landscape.
The governor gained a real victory when the petition was rejected. The dismissal is being contested before the Court of Appeal by Isa and PDP as well.
The governor listed 14 reasons why the tribunal made mistakes in coming to its second conclusion in his appeal against the alternative judgment.
The five reliefs he is seeking from the intermediate court, include: “An order setting aside the majority decision of the Kaduna State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal ordering supplementary election in 22 polling units or any unit whatsoever delivered on Thursday, 28th of September, 2023, by Hon. Justices K.D Damulak and Victoria T. Nwoye.
“An order dismissing the alternative reliefs of the petition for a supplementary election in any polling unit in Kaduna State, which was granted by the tribunal.
“An order striking out the 1st and 2nd cross respondents’ (PDP and Isa) petition for being statute barred.
“An order striking out the 1st and 2nd cross respondents’ petition for non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.
“An order allowing the cross-appeal.”
The governor listed the parts of the judgment that he is protesting, including; “The part of the majority decision granting the alternative reliefs of the 1st and 2nd cross-respondents, ordering the conduct of supplementary election in 22 polling units in Kaduna State.
“Part of the decision of the tribunal dismissing the cross-appellant’s (Uba and APC) objection to the competence of the petition on account of being statute barred.
“Part of the decision of the Tribunal dismissing the cross-appellant’s motion challenging the petition on account of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.”
In his grounds of appeal, Uba through Ojo also noted, “The learned trial judges erred in law when they failed and/or refused to pronounce on the cross-appellant’s Motion on Notice, seeing the tribunal’s order to pronounce on the cross-appellant’s preliminary objection before taking further steps in the proceeding.
“The learned trial judges erred in law when they relied on documents which were legally inadmissible to hold that the number of permanent voters’ cards collected in some polling units were more than the margin of lead between the cross-appellant and the 1st and 2nd respondents.
“The learned trial judges erred in law when they placed reliance on the Forms EC40G series, which are legally inadmissible in law.
“The learned trial judges erred in law when they placed reliance on the Forms EC40G series when their makers were neither called as witnesses nor any witness called from the respective polling units they relate to.
“The learned trial judges erred in law when after finding that the FORMS EC40G series were riddled with discrepancies still proceeded to rely on these discrepant FORMS EC40G series to order for supplementary election in the polling units.
“The learned trial judges erred in law and breached the cross-appellant’s right to a fair hearing when they appropriated one of the 1st and 2nd respondents’ witnesses (PW 1) as a witness of the tribunal.”
He added, “The learned trial judges of the Tribunal (Coram: Hon. Justices V.O.A Oviawe, K.D Damulak and Victoria T. Nwoye) erred in law when they suo moto concluded that the date of declaration of results of the governorship election was excluded thereby necessitating their decision that the petition was filed within the 21 days period.
“Meanwhile, Isa in his appeal, provided 24 grounds, to upturn the dismissal of his petition.
“The opposition candidate is also seeking an order of the higher court, invalidating Sani’s victory.”