The Adamawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Saturday upheld the election of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, having dismissed the petition filed by Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru Binani, his challenger.
Binani, a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had challenged the election of Governor Fintiri (People’s Democratic Party), alleging several irregularities and substantial non-compliance with the electoral Act.
She hinged her case on non-accreditation, improper accreditation and over voting, violence, snatching of election materials, among other irregularities.
She categorically argued that Fintiri’s election cannot stand because there were multiple declaration of winner and returns made, as according the her, she was earlier declared the winner by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari; as such the maintained that the election had two different declarations of a winner.
She therefore prayed the tribunal to declare Governor Fintiri’s “purported victory as null and void.”
On April 16, 2023, SaharaReporters reported that a dramatic twist to the governorship election in Adamawa State has emerged as the APC candidate, Aishatu Dahiru Binani has been declared the winner of the poll before the completion of the collation of results.
The suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Hudu Yunusa, announced Binani as the winner, even when the resumption of the collation of results scheduled for 11 am on Sunday had yet to start.
However, 30 minutes later, SaharaReporters reported again that the INEC declared the announcement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Binani as the winner of the Adamawa State governorship election as null and void.
Delivering judgement on Saturday, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Theodora Uloho held that by the provisions of section 25 the Electoral Act, the suspended REC had no business returning a winner.
She further held that it is only a returning officer that decalares the outcome of an election. That the REC cannot usurp the powers of the returning officer in that manner to have returned Binani as elected
The declaration and return of Aisha Binani as elected was untra vires the statutory duties of a REC and therefore null and void. That the suspended REC acted recklessly.
The petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proving that there was non-accreditation, improper accreditation and over voting.
Justice Uloho, having struck out several exhibits, dismissed the petition filed by Binani and affirmed election of Governor Fintiri.
Reacting to the judgement, counsel to the first petitioner, Sani Garba said, “We’ll study the judgement and advise our client accordingly.”
On his part counsel to Governor Fintiri, Damian Dodo, praised the judgment and the judges for being impartial in their decision.