Election Tribunal Affirms Fintiri As Adamawa Governor

Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Adamawa State has dismissed the petition filed by Dr. Umar Ardo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and upheld the election of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

Gatekeepers News reports that the tribunal sitting in Yola, the Adamawa State capital on Monday and chaired by Theodorer Uloho, deemed the petition “incompetent, defective, incongruous, and not properly instituted” and dismissed it.

Ardo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who challenged the outcome of the March 18 election and the April 18 declaration of Fintiri as the winner following the April 16 supplementary election.

Ardo’s petition instituted on May 8, joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Fintiri and 16 others as respondents, alleged that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act and that it was marred by corrupt practices (bribery), threats and violence and however sought the nullification of the entire exercise.

On their part, the 1st to 4th respondents told the tribunal that the petition was statute-barred and could not be entertained by the tribunal, alleging that the petition was not supported with evidence nor filed in compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act.

In her judgement, the Chairperson of the tribunal, Theodorer Uloho, dismissed the petition as “incompetent, defective, incongruous and not properly instituted before the tribunal.” She also held that the petitioners were not certain about what they wanted.

She further held that the allegation of corrupt practices must be proven with cogent and credible evidence and that failure to do so rendered the petition worthless, lifeless and without any probative value.

She dismissed the petition and awarded the sum of N200,000 in favour of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents.

Reacting to the judgement, Adamawa State deputy governor, Prof. Kaletapwa Farauta declared it as a “victory for Adamawa State”.

She however extended an olive branch to the party that lost out to join hands with the Fintiri’s administration to move the state forward.

On his part, the counsel for the petitioner, Sylvester Emanube, faulted parts of the judgement, saying, “There are many decisions that were made excellent, there are some that we think we have to look at again; particularly the ones that the Court of Appeal had made decisions on, which were also decided today.”

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