BREAKING: Why Kaduna governor files cross-appeal against part of tribunal’s judgement

Kaduna State governor, Uba Sani, who narrowly won at the state’s governorship election petition tribunal to keep his position, has filed a cross-appeal against an aspect of the tribunal’s judgement.

The governor’s rival in the disputed 18 March governorship election, Isah Ashiru of the PDP, has also filed an appeal to contest unfavourable aspect of the tribunal’s judgement….CONTINUE READING HERE

The overall decision of the tribunal had affirmed Mr Sani’s election, but the tribunal had noted that it could have sacked the governor and ordered a supplementary poll.

The tribunal said it did not order a supplementary poll only because Mr Ashiru committed a procedural breach in filing his petition.

The three-member tribunal led by Victor Oviawe had, on 28 September, delivered the judgement on the petition filed by Mr Ashiru.

Ruling on a preliminary issue in the case, two of the three members of the tribunal gave the majority decision that dismissed the petition on the grounds that the petitioner applied for pre-hearing notice too late.

But the tribunal noted in the judgement on the merit of the case, that if the petition had not been dismissed on the technical ground, it would have ordered a supplementary election in 22 polling units within 90 days.
Sani’s appeal

Mr Sani, who had hailed the tribunal for dismissing PDP’s petition, has now filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal asking it to overturn the alternative ruling of the election tribunal ordering a supplementary poll. The governor announced the filing of his cross-appeal in a statement on Monday.

He engaged a former Attorney General of Nigeria, Bayo Ojo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, to contest some aspects of the judgement.

The governor’s lawyer argued in the cross-appeal with 14 grounds of appeal that the tribunal committed errors in arriving at its alternative decision ordering supplementary election in 22 polling units whose votes were invalidated.

“The learned trial judges erred in law when they failed and/or refused to pronounce on the cross-appellant’s Motion on Notice, seeing the tribunal’s order to pronounce on the cross-appellant’s preliminary objection before taking further steps in the proceeding,” it said.

He added, “The learned trial judges erred in law when after finding that the FORMS EC40G series were riddled with discrepancies still proceeded to rely on these discrepant FORMS EC40G series to order for supplementary election in the polling units.”

Mr Sani also argued that the tribunal judges erred in law and breached his right to fair hearing by appropriating his first petitioner’s witnesses (PW 1) as a witness of the tribunal.

The cross-appellant sought among others, an order setting aside the majority decision ordering supplementary election in 22 polling units or any unit whatsoever.

He also sought: “An order dismissing the alternative reliefs of the petition for a supplementary election in any polling unit in Kaduna State, which was granted by the tribunal.

“An order striking out the 1st and 2nd cross respondents’ (PDP and Isa) petition for being statute barred.

“An order striking out the 1st and 2nd cross respondents’ petition for non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022….CONTINUE READING HERE