The Sokoto Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Sokoto, the State Capital, has affirmed Governor Ahmed Aliyu, as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state.
Discharging the judgement on Saturday, September 30, 2023, the tribunal led by Justice Haruna Mshelia, dismissed the petition of Mallam Sa’idu Umar of the Peoples Democratic Party.
It would be recalled that the Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress, was declared the winner of the election, by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
However, the Petitioner, Umar, had approached the tribunal with a petition, challenging the election of Governor Aliyu and the Deputy Governor, Muhammad Gobir, over alleged nonon-qualification and electoral fraud during the March 18 election.
The tribunal Chairman, Mshelia in a unanimous judgement, said the petitioners were unable to prove the six grounds formulated in the petition beyond conviction
According to him, the grounds bordered on alleged ineligibility for Aliyu and Gobir to contest, falsification of certificates, variation of names, election fraud and compliance with electoral guidelines.
He further explained that the Petitioners were unable to prove the allegations tendered, beyond a reasonable doubt as required by law, as 70 per cent of exhibits submitted were out of context, noting that they relate to State Assembly elections conducted on the same dates.
He held that to prove forgery, two different documents or persons needed to be presented, while the variation of names issues was settled in Supreme Court provisions.
He stated that the three subpoenaed witnesses were not defendable, noting that they were not makers of the documents from the alleged primary school, while the other 28 polling unit agents testified could not identify themselves along with their roles.
Mshelia maintained that the alleged 138 polling units fraud was not adduced to indicate that substantial non-compliance of the elections had marred the election outcome.
He added that the tribunal dismissed all the preliminary objections on competency to institute the case by the respondents, as the petitioners duly linked the grounds in the petition.
He however dismissed the petition for lack of merit and failure to prove the allegations by the petitioner, beyond conviction.