Adamawa: Fintiri dwarfs Binani as Appeal Court throws out governorship election petition

The Court of Appeal has dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate,  Senator Aisha Dahiru Binani.

In the suit, Binani is seeking to invalidate the election of Umar Ahmadu Fintiri as the duly elected governor of Adamawa state.

While delivering its verdict, Monday, the appellate court held that Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was lawfully declared winner of the poll by the Adamawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

 In a judgment written by Justice Tunde Oyebanji Awotoye, the court threw out the case of Binani and APC on various grounds of abnormalities.

Among the grounds, the Appeal Court held that Binani and APC failed to call polling agents who participated in the conduct of the election as witnesses but unfortunately called campaign coordinators who were not at the election venue.

Justice Awotoye said that the three witnesses called to establish malpractices in 27 Local Government Areas who were Campaign Coordinators are mere hearsay witnesses having not been party agents.

The court held that it is against the law to attach probate values to the testimony of the Campaign Coordinators since such is worthless in the face of the law.

Besides, Justice Awotoye said that the brief of argument filed by Binani and APC was in contravention of the law, hence, incompetent and deserved to be ignored.

Also, Justice Awotoye held that the records of appeal transmitted to the Court of Appeal by Binani and APC were not complete and in law mot icompetent for the Court to make any finding.

The court declared as illegal act, the declaration of Binani and APC as winners of the election adding that the only authority to make declaration is the Returning Officer.

The court also said that it was wrong for Binani to be taking Panadol for the headache of the Resident Electoral Commissioner REC who opted to take laws into his own hand.

“In the eyes of the law, the Resident Electoral Commissioner is on his own. He should be allowed to take responsibility for his illegal and unlawful act”

The unanimous judgment dismissed the appeal in its entirety and award a cost of N1M to be paid to Fintiri and PDP by Binani and APC.

The Adamawa State Governorship Electoral Petitions Tribunal had in October, dismissed the petition filed by Binani seeking Fintiri’s sack from office.