Politics

Accept Appeal Court verdict in good faith, Kaduna gov, Sani tells PDP’s Ashiru

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Kaduna State governor, Senator Uba Sani, has urged his opponents to accept the Court of Appeal’s verdict affirming his victory at the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had earlier on Friday, affirmed the election of Sani as the governor, dismissing the earlier decision of the Kaduna State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal which ordered supplementary election in 22 polling units.

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Isa Ashiru, had challenged the declaration of Sani as winner of the election.

A three-member panel of the appellate court held that the tribunal acted in error when it depended on inadmissible evidence to order the conduct of supplementary polls in 22 polling units of four local government areas (LGAs) where the exercise was deemed inconclusive.

The court stated that a key witness called by the PDP during the tribunal hearing merely gave hearsay evidence as he was not present when the malpractices he alleged happened.

The appeal court held that the allegations of deduction of votes, stuffing of ballot boxes, and mutilation of sensitive electoral materials made by the said witness were born out of hearsay.

The court also held that the tribunal was right in dismissing the petition of the PDP and Isa Ashiru because the petitioners had abandoned their petition for their failure to apply for the issuance of a pre-hearing information sheet after close of pleadings as required by paragraph 18(1) of the first schedule to the Electoral Act 2022.

While expressing joy and gratitude at the confirmation of his victory by the Appeal Court, Sani also extended a hand of fellowship to all opposing sides in a bid to move the state forward in tandem with the #SUSTAINKaduna agenda.

This was according to a statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mohammed Shehu released to newsmen in Kaduna on Friday.

The governor praised the diligence and thoroughness of both the tribunal and the appellate court while noting that he’s always confident in the nation’s judicial process.

He said, “Today, I received the news of the Appeal Court verdict. I acknowledge and appreciate the diligence and thoroughness of the Kaduna State Elections Petition Tribunal and the Appeal Court for arriving at this verdict today.

“I have always remained confident in our judicial process. It is now time to peacefully move forward and continue to work assiduously for the people of Kaduna without distractions as the task ahead of us is huge.

“The Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, and my humble self appreciate the All Progressives Congress family, and the good people of Kaduna for their unflinching support during this entire process

“I urge my brothers in the opposition to accept this verdict in good faith and as the will of the people. It is time to come together as one to move our great state forward.”

Sani promised to continue to encourage dialogue with all stakeholders and to maintain an open-door policy.

 

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