The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Kaduna, the eponymous state capital, on late Thursday upheld the April 11 election victory of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of the All Progressives Congress.
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice A. A. Adebara, in over six-hour judgment that dragged through the night, dismissed the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Polycarp Danladi, on the ground that it lacks merits and facts to establish non-compliance, Premium Times reported.
Tension had heightened in the state as delivery of judgment, expected to start around 9 a.m., however, commenced at about 1:45 p.m. and lasted till 7:09 p.m.
Mr. Danladi had petitioned the tribunal challenging the election that brought in Mr. El-Rufai as governor of the state.
Mr. Danladi sought the tribunal to nullify the election and order a fresh election, arguing that his name was not captured in the form EC 8A and that the election was characterized by over-voting and not conducted in compliance with the electoral act.
Speaking to journalists after the judgment, counsel to the Governor, Omokayode Adebayo Dada, said the APGA candidate, if not satisfied by the judgment, can head to the appeal court.
However, the counsel to the petitioner, Olumuyiwa Olowookore, said there were still appealable issues but that he would have to consult his client on the way forward.
“There is a lot of invalid things been done at the moment and INEC needs to get on top of these issues but they are definitely not on top of the issues,” he said.
“So for us, there are still issues that arise from this judgment but whether my client will appeal or not depends on the outcome of consultations.
“There are appealable issues but the decision of the appeal goes to the client. And when I say there are appealable issues, I am saying the judgment can be tested.”