The Kaduna State governorship election petition tribunal on Tuesday struck out People’s Democratic Party (PDP) application for the recount of votes of March 9 governorship election won by All Progressive Congress (APC) in the State.
PDP’s Candidate, Hon. Mohammed Isa Ashiru lost the governorship election and decided to challenge the victory of Nasir El-Rufai of APC at the tribunal.
The PDP candidate had earlier applied for the recount of ballot in some polling units and wards of Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi, Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Zaria, Sabon Gari, Makarfi, Kudan, Kubau, Soba and Ikara local government areas won by the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in the concluded election.
In his ruling, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ibrahim M. Bako noted that the court does not have the power to grant the application for the recount of ballot papers.
This was even as the tribunal fixed June 15, 2019 for continuation of hearing of the case.
However, speaking to journalists after the court’s ruling, counsel to Ashiru, Elesha Kurah (SAN) said the legal team will study the ruling and take necessary action.
Kurah who frowned at the ruling said it is strange because other tribunals have done that in the past and also with court of appeal in a number of cases.
According to him, “So, we wonder at this stage why the tribunal would say it doesn’t have the power to recount. We have to take It up so that the issue will be trashed out”, he said.
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The legal luminary argued that tribunal has inherent powers to grant the recount, saying that the court of appeal has even agreed that they have the powers.
He said the claim of the court not to have powers to grant the application and to assume that there is no specific provision in the electoral act that talks about recount is strange.
While quoting section 6(17) of the constitution, he said the inherent powers of the court is clear, explaining that judicial powers conferred on the court to do justice to the case and this one cannot be an exception.
But counsel to Nasiru El-Rufai of APC, Abdulhakeen Mustapha (SAN) expressed satisfaction with the ruling, saying the PDP’s motion lacks merit.
According to him, the court found no merit in the application and it was dismissed.