The legal battle against the outcome of the governorship election in Kano State took a new turn following the development that took place in court yesterday.
Indication suggest that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, have reasons to relish their victory in the governorship election in the state as one of their main opponents has given up on the legal battle.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Kano State Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Halima Muhammad, on Wednesday warned journalists to ensure that they reported the tribunal’s proceedings accurately.
According to The Punch, she said any form of inaccurate report would be treated as contempt. Justice Muhammad handed down the warning at the inaugural sitting of the tribunal at the Kano State High Court Complex. She also promised all parties that she would provide a level playing ground for all.
She urged counsel to cooperate with the tribunal to ensure speedy dispensation of justice. She said, “To members of the fourth estate of the realm, we expect balanced reporting, where necessary, as any form of misreporting, which has the tendency of heating up the polity, will be interpreted as a tacit hovering within the precinct of contempt.
“Election petition being sui generis (that is being time bound ) and guided by its own peculiar rules of procedures, unlike the regular cases, the tribunal shall therefore not tolerate the employment of technicalities to stultify speedy dispensation of justice, as we do not intend to be caught up in the web of expired petition, due to effusion of time.”
She urged the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Mukhtar, to use his office to guide the bar to adhere to the ethics of the profession. She added that the tribunal expected the state chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association to also partner the Attorney-General to ensure decorum and good conduct of counsel during proceedings.
“To the members of the political parties, the tribunal having guaranteed a level playing ground, does not expect anyone to heat up the polity by doing acts that may be inimical to the security of the tribunal and its members,” she added.
Mukhtar while making her remarks assured the tribunal of a secured environment during and after the session.
The governorship candidate of the Green Party of Nigeria, Abdulkarim Abdussalam, withdrew the petition he filed against the Governor Ganduje who won the election. He went ahead to give reasons for his actions.
In an eight-paragraph statement dated May 17, Abdussalam’s counsel, Ibrahim Sa’ad, said the petition was withdrawn to allow peace to reign in the state. He cited Section 1 (a) and (b) of the Electoral Act in withdrawing the petition.
Justice Muhammad granted the request of Abdussalam’s counsel and struck out the petition.
Meanwhile, Governor Ganduje and the APC may still have to prepare to defend their victory as some other candidates in the election may still give them a good fight in court over the outcome of the contest.
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