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Dismiss PDP’s petition against my election – Sokoto Gov, Ahmad Aliyu tells Supreme Court

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Governor Ahmad Aliyu of Sokoto State has asked the Supreme Court to outrightly dismiss the appeal lodged against his election by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its governorship candidate, Sa’adu Umar.

The governor insisted that the petition instituted against him by the two appellants is devoid of merit and substance.

At the hearing of the appeal on Wednesday at the apex court, the governor’s lawyer Wole Olanipekun SAN, argued that the Sokoto State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal were completely right in their findings, conclusions and dismissal of the petition for lack of merit.

Olanipekun maintained that none of the allegations raised against the election of his client was established as required by law, thereby making the appeal liable to dismissal.

The position of Olanipekun was adopted by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in asking for dismissal of the appeal.

However, the appellants, PDP and Umar, pleaded with the court to find merit in the appeal, set aside the findings and decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Tribunal which had last year dismissed the petition.

Lead counsel to the appellants, Sunday Ibrahim Ameh SAN, submitted that the case of his clients was meritorious and should be allowed.

Specifically, PDP and Umar prayed the Supreme Court to declare them as the lawful winners of the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election and not APC and Aliyu as announced by INEC.

After taking arguments from lawyers, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun-led five-man panel of Justices reserved judgment in the matter.

Kekere-Ekun announced that the judgment delivery date would be communicated to parties when it is ready.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja had on November 27 last year affirmed the election of Ahmad Aliyu as Governor of Sokoto State.

A three-member panel of the appellate court dismissed the appeal filed by PDP and its governorship candidate, Saidu Umar, challenging Aliyu’s victory in the poll.

The panel unanimously held that it found no reason to disturb the verdict of the tribunal that upheld the governor’s victory.

Aliyu, the candidate of the APC, was declared the winner of the governorship election with 453,661 votes to defeat Umar who secured 404,632 votes.

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But Umar alleged that the governor and his deputy Idris Gobir, forged the certificates they presented to INEC to qualify for the election.

It will be recalled that a three-member panel of Justices of the Election Petition Tribunal, led by Justice Haruna Msheila, had, in a unanimous judgment delivered on September 30, dismissed the petition of the PDP and its governorship candidate in the last governorship election in Sokoto State.

The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove the six grounds formulated in their joint petition.

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