By Abdullahi Faruk, Birnin Kebbi
Hon. Yusuf Tanko Sununu member representing Yauri/ Shanga/ Ngaski federal constituency via his counsel have head to court of Appeal sokoto division to challenge the ruling of Kebbi State election petition tribunal sitting in Birnin Kebbi delivered on Monday 8th May, seeking for dismissal of petition challenging his victory.
The raising issue for the appeal was the ruling delivered by Honourable Justice Margret Opara on Monday 09/5/2023, following a motion filed on the 20th April and accompanied with 16 paragraphs of an affidavits by the first respondant counsel Barrister Hussaini Zakariya SAN, and moved on the 2nd May seeking for dismissal of petition filed by Muhammad Bala Usman of Peoples Democratic party (PDP) that is challenging his victory.
The tribunal thrown out the motion on the ground that the papers are not addressed to 2nd and 3rd respondants and it was only addressed to 1st respondant be assumed that it covered 2nd and 3rd respondant. So based on this ground the tribunal found that it is incompetent before tribunal.
Therefore, the chairman of the tribunal Hon. Justice Margret Opara further stressed that having careful study both arguments and prayers canvassed by the first respondant counsel zakariya SAN and that of the petitioner counsel Chief Magnus Ihejirika and found that arguments of first respondant lack merit and is hereby dismissed pre-hearing continued immediately.
On his part, counsel to first respondant Hussaini Zakariya SAN, in an interview with journalist said” on tribunal delivered ruling on our motion for dismissal of petition filed by Muhammad Bala Usman of Peoples Democratic party (PDP) challenging victory of his clients having been abandoned the petition by the petitioners.
” In the wisdom of the tribunal said that the papers are not addressed to 2nd and 3rd respondant it was only addressed to 1st respondant be assumed that it covered 2nd and 3rd respondant based on this ground tribunal refused to grant our application for dismissal and application for dismissal brought pursuance to provisions of the first schedule of the electoral act, has says ” the moment pre-trial session is not kick up, we can apply for the dismissal, however the tribunal has ruled on it. He lamented”.
Adding that” we are certified with what the tribunal ruled on, but we intend to test it on appeal and we have taking step towards the appeal. At the Appeal court, simply what we are doing in the court of Appeal is that, at the point when the petitioners refused to kick up pre-trial session when pleadings closed the petition have been abandoned, having been abandoned tribunal doesn’t have any duty than to dismissed it. So this is what we are to test in the court of Appeal to confirm whether we are right or the tribunal is right, Zakiriya SAN explained”.