By Yau Waziri
The Gombe State Governorship Election Tribunal has struck out a petition filed against Governor Muhammadu Inuwa and his Deputy Manasah Daniel Jatau and affirmed their re-election as duly elected winners of the 2023, Governorship election in Gombe State.
In a three-man panel led by Justice S.B Belgore, the tribunal judgment dismissed the petition filed by the Governorship candidates of African Democratic Congress ADC, Nafiu Bala, People Democratic Party PDP, Jibrin Barde, who challenged the victory of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya and his Deputy Manasah Daniel Jatau, for lack of merit.
On the petition filed by the PDP and its candidate, the tribunal described it as vague, nebulous, lacking in particularity, baseless and an academic exercise.
The PDP had alleged that there were electoral malpractices and that Inuwa Yahaya was not elected by the majority of lawful votes cast.
The Tribunal equally, struck out the petition due to the failure of petitioners to provide witnesses and proofs to drive home their legal challenge.
The court judgment read by Justice S.B Belgore affirmed that the petition of the ADC and its candidate lacked merit, and so was dismissed accordingly.
The ADC was challenging the declaration and return of Inuwa Yahaya over alleged multiplicity and variations in the arrangement of names on the certificates of his deputy without accompanying affidavits to prove authenticity.
The tribunal judgment struck the matter, saying it was a pre-election issue and that the deputy had met the minimum requirement to run.
According to the ADC’s allegations of voter inducement, corrupt practices and non-compliance with the electoral act, the tribunal held that the allegations were mere academic exercise as the petitioner failed to identify or mention a single case in point where such alleged infraction took place.
The Court held that, the petition by the African Democratic Congress ADC against the return of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya as the duly elected governor of Gombe State lacks merit on all fronts and that the election of the first and second respondents as winners of the March 18th Guber polls is valid and lawful.