Tribunal Dismisses SDP’s Petition Against Fintiri, Fines Party N200,000

Ardo filed a petition on May 8 against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Fintiri, and 16 others, alleging that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.


A file photo of Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri. Source: @GovernorAUF

 

The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Yola has dismissed the petition against the Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri.

Following the declaration of Fintiri as the winner of the March 18 governorship poll, the SDP governorship candidate, Umar Ardo, and his running mate, Amos Yusuf, approached the tribunal, challenging the outcome of the exercise.

Ardo filed a petition on May 8 against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Fintiri, and 16 others, alleging that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.

The petitioner further alleged that the exercise conducted by the first respondent was a matter of corrupt practices, threats, and violence and therefore sought the nullification of the entire exercise.

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The first and fourth respondents however said that the petition is status barred which cannot be entertained by the tribunal, alleging that it is not supported with evidence and not filed in compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act.

In her judgment, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Theodora Uloho declared that the petition was incompetent, defective, incongruous, and not properly instituted before the tribunal and that the petitioners were not certain of what they wanted.

She stated that the petitioners had lumped the ground of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act as well as failed to file written statements of names of witnesses they intended to call.

Justice Uloho declared that the allegations of corrupt practices must be proved with content and credible evidence and failure to do so renders the petition without any probative value, worthless and lifeless.

She, therefore, dismissed the petition and awarded the N200,000 in favour of INEC, Fintiri, Prof Farauta Kaletapwa, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the petitioners