The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kano on Tuesday dismissed a prayer by Abba Kabir-Yusuf, PDP governorship candidate seeking to amend the names of witnesses earlier presented alongside the petition.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Kabir-Yusuf, are challenging the declaration of Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the March 23, governorship election in Kano state. In his submission, the lead counsel of Kabir-Yusuf, Asiwaju Adeboyega Awomolo said he brought the petition to correct some errors made on the names of their witnesses earlier filed on April 11, 2019.
He maintained that his application would not amend or alter the statement of fact but to sustain the ground prayer of their petition and urged the tribunal to grant the application. While objecting to the prayer, Counsels to both respondents, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje and INEC, Offiong Offiong (SAN) and Ahmad Raji (SAN) noted that the prayer to amend the names of the witnesses by the petitioner contravened the Electoral Act.
The counsel further argued that election petition should be filed accompanied with names, details and oath of the petition. In her ruling, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Halima Shamaki dismissed the application by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Shamaki said Paragraph 4 and 5 of the first schedules of the Electoral Act provided that all election petitions should be accompanied with details of the witnesses.
The tribunal chairman also noted that petitioner should be expected to file his petition three weeks after declaration of election result. She said since the petitioner had filed his petition in the last three months, she had no jurisdiction to grant the application of the PDP. Shamaki, therefore, adjourned the sitting to the July 22 for the commencement of hearing.
No fewer than 785 witnesses are expected to appear before the election tribunal to testify for APC and PDP on the conduct of the March 2019, governorship election in the state.