By: Abdullahi Faruk, Birnin Kebbi
Hon.Yusuf Tanko Sununu of the All Progressive Congress (APC), representing Yauri, Ngaski and Shanga Federal Constituency has on Friday 28/5/23, seek dismissal of a petition challenging his victory at the just concluded House of Representative election.
Counsel to Sununu, Barrister Hussaini Zakariya SAN during the sitting, gave reasons why the Election Tribunal in Birnin Kebbi, should dismiss the petition filed by Muhammad Bala Usman, candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who lost to Sununu.
“The petitioner has failed to apply for pre-trial session within seven days prescribed by Electoral Act, first schedule.
“By the Electoral Act first schedule the moment pleadings has closed, it means all parties have concluded exchanged of their papers.
“Immediately parties conclude filing papers from the last day, the petitioner is expected to apply for pre-hearing session within 7 days”, he explained.
Continuing, Zakariya SAN observed that, the petitioner filed an application for pre-hearing on the eight day.
“The law states that the moment you did not file application for pre-hearing within seven days, the petition is deemed to have been abandon and the respondant will apply for the petition to be dismissed or if the respondant didn’t apply, the court on its own can select it for dismissal and dismiss it.
Counsel to the petitioner, Muhammad Bala Usman, candidate of the PDP, Barrister Magnus Ihejirika in his response, told the tribunal that they have filed counter affidavits to the motion on noticed filed by the first respondant and served his counsel in court.
Also, counsel to INEC as third respondant, raised observation to the tribunal that he was not served with the motion on noticed filed by the first respondant counsel, the tribunal asked the registry to explain and it confirmed that third respondant was served through his office, while a return copy to proof the service was produced by the said registry to butress that the third respondant was already served.
Chairman of Tribunal Honourable Justice Margret Opara, adjourned to Tuesday 2nd May to hears and determine the application moved by the first respondant.