The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal of Adamawa State has dismissed a petition by the Action People Party (APP) seeking to nullify the election of the state governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.
Concise News understands that APP and its Governorship candidate in the last general election, Bitrus Meda, had taken Funtiri, his deputy Crowther Seth, their Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to the tribunal, complaining that he was unlawfully excluded from the election that produced Fintiri as governor.
Giving the judgment on the petition on Saturday, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Adediran Adebara, said the petitioners failed to prove their claim of unlawful exclusion beyond a reasonable doubt.
He dismissed the petition and awarded legal cost of N1,000,000 against the petitioner: N300,000 each in favour of first, second and third respondents, and N100,000 for the fourth respondent, that is INEC.
Responding to the judgment, Counsel to the petitioners, Solomon Garba, said they had accepted the judgment in good faith.
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, who also spoke to newsmen later at the Government House, Yola, said he was grateful to God that the tribunal affirmed his election.
He said, “All praises to Allah the giver of power who has made it that this time I should be the governor of Adamawa State.
“For the judiciary, I congratulate them for reaffirming what Adamawa people demonstrated last general election, voting freely under a peaceful election that saw me emerge as the governor of the state.”
Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had declared the former acting governor winner after he scored 376,552 votes to beat his closest rival, incumbent Governor Muhammed Bindow of All Progressives Congress (APC). The APC candidate polled 336,386 votes in the supplementary governorship election, followed by SDP’s Emmanuel Bello, who polled 29,792 votes.
Returning Officer for Adamawa, Professor Andrew Haruna, declared the winner after the supplementary election in 44 polling units across 14 areas of the northeast state.
Fintiri, who recorded 367,472 votes at the March 9 Adamawa governorship poll, which was declared inconclusive, polled 8,839 votes in the supplementary election held on 28 March. His closest rival, governor Bindow, got 1391 votes.
Concise News understands that the total votes cast was 899,097, out of which 871,307 votes were valid while 27,790 votes were invalid.
Fintiri had served as Speaker of the Adamawa House of Assembly in 2014, and acting Governor in July 2014, following the impeachment of the governor at the time, Murtala Nyako.