The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna State, on Tuesday, reserved judgment in the case challenging the election of Malam Nasir el-Rufai as governor of Kaduna State.

The case instituted by Mr Polycarp Danladi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who came third in the April 11 election, sought the tribunal to nullify the election and order for a fresh one.

Danladi had argued that the April 11 election was characterised by over-voting and did not comply substantially with the Electoral Act.

Counsel to the petitioner, Mr Olumuyuwa Olowokure, after adopting his final address, urged the court to grant the petitioners’ reliefs.

On their part, counsel to the first, second and third respondents, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, Mustapha Abubakar and Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), respectively, urged the court to dismiss the petition for lack of merit.

The Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice A. A. Adebara, after adopting the submissions of the counsels, reserved judgment sine die.

He said that the tribunal would communicate the date set for the judgement through counsels to all the parties.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the hearing, Olowokure stressed that proper reflection of the result of the governorship election was not conveyed to the people of the state because of non-compliance to electoral guidelines.

“We want the tribunal to look into that through the various evidences we have placed before them. It is now left to the tribunal to decide whether we have established our case or not,” he said.

Similarly, counsel to the first respondent, Mustapha, said: “To the best of our responsibility, we have been able to demonstrate to the court that the petition is lacking in material merit.

“The petitioner and his counsel have not been able to prove their case that there is substantial non-conformity with the provisions of the electoral act.

“So we are very sure that the petition lack merit and the tribunal will judge in our favour.”

In the same vein, Oyeyipo said: “I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that we have placed sufficient facts before the tribunal to enable it arrive at a decision that we are hoping would be in our favour.

“I am also convinced that the petitioners have not done enough to warrant the decision in their favour.

“So, we are optimistic that we will all smile at the end of the day and the good people of Kaduna State will continue to enjoy the good governance of Gov El-Rufai.”

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