In a landmark ruling on Friday, the Court of Appeal sitting in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, upheld the election victory of Uba Sani as the Governor of Kaduna State.
The three-member panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Amina Ahmed, delivered the judgment, stating that the previous tribunal had erred in its decision to order supplementary polls in 22 polling units across four local government areas (LGAs) where the election results were deemed inconclusive.
The controversy surrounding the election had been a contentious issue, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the legitimacy of Uba Sani’s victory. However, the Court of Appeal’s ruling has put an end to the protracted legal battle.
The appellate court ruled that the tribunal had relied on inadmissible evidence when it ordered the conduct of supplementary polls. A key witness presented by the PDP during the tribunal hearing was found to have provided hearsay evidence, as he was not present at the locations where he alleged malpractices occurred.
The allegations of vote deduction, ballot box stuffing, and the mutilation of sensitive electoral materials made by this witness were deemed to lack credibility, leading the court to dismiss them.
Additionally, the Court of Appeal upheld the tribunal’s decision to dismiss the PDP’s petition and that of its candidate, Isa Ashiru. This dismissal was based on the petitioners’ failure to follow the necessary procedures, as required by paragraph 18(1) of the first schedule to the Electoral Act 2022.
Specifically, the petitioners had neglected to apply for the issuance of a pre-hearing information sheet after the close of pleadings. The ruling has solidified Uba Sani’s position as the duly elected Governor of Kaduna State.