The Kaduna State gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last election, Isa Mohammed Ashiru has expressed excitement over the ruling of the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
The tribunal’s verdict has, however, been shrouded with controversies as the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and its candidate in the election claimed that the court dismissed Isa’s petition.
Also in the news, some reports had said the court affirmed Sani’s election after dismissing the petition filed by the PDP, and its candidate, Ashiru, while other accounts of the judgement said the tribunal sacked the governor while declaring the election inconclusive.
Clarifying the judgement, Isa in a statement he personally signed on Thursday night, told his supporters that the court sacked the sitting governor but it would be effected at the appeal court.
He explained that “the preliminary objection, the tribunal, based on the majority of 2:1 judges upheld the preliminary objection of the respondent to the effect that the application for pre-hearing was done prematurely i.e. before the service of the last set of petitioners’ reply to the 2nd respondent’s reply to the petition was served.
“However, the law enjoins the tribunal, as a trial court, to proceed to pronounce on the merit of the substantive suit so that in the event the court of appeal finds that the trial tribunal was wrong in its decision on the preliminary objection, it would have the benefit of pronouncing on the decision of the tribunal in the substantive matter.
“Accordingly, the trial tribunal finds merit in the aspect of the petitioner’s case relative to the margin of win between the two leading candidates.
“The tribunal by a split decision of 2:1 accordingly, nullified the election of the governor of Kaduna state, ordered that the Certificate of Return be retrieved and fresh elections be conducted in some polling units in 4 LGAs and the outcome thereof be reckoned with before the declaration of the winner of the governorship election in Kaduna state”.
The PDP candidate thanked the people of the State for their support so far, urging them all to remain law abiding while the matter is pursued further.
“One thing I can assure the good people of Kaduna State is that I will pursue this mandate you freely gave me to its logical conclusion and by the grace of God, victory on our side”, he added.