The Election Tribunal sitting in Kano State has struck out a fresh application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Abba Kabiru Yusuf, seeking to extend inspection of election materials.
Counsel to Abba, Bashir Yusuf Mohammed, had filed the application in a 13-paragraph affidavit seeking an ex parte order to extend the inspection of electoral materials 20 days after the tribunal ordered Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the opposition party access to them.
Although, PDP had exhausted the privileges of a Federal High Court, which stipulated 14 days for expiration of ex parte order and seven days expiration as applicable at Kano State High Court, counsel to PDP, Bashir claimed the time was inadequate to obtain all required information.
He, however, lamented PDP obtained required documents from 13 of 44 local government areas, while accusing the first and second respondents of frustrating the exercise.
In a swift reaction, counsel to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) legal research team, Musa Abdullahi Lawan, objected to PDP’s allegation
He insisted that the opposition party had exhausted the timeline to examine the electoral materials.
Lawan expressed APC’s readiness to defend and meet all court requirements in the interest of justice.
But Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Halima Shamaki stressed that PDP’s application for an ex parte order may not serve the merit it deserves, since the contending parties were not given the opportunity to defend the allegations.
She, therefore, urged PDP to adopt an application for motion on notice to enable the tribunal compel all parties involved to examine the electoral materials within a stipulated time.
Although, the court explained that the urgent need for inspection of the electoral materials was no longer necessary, since the PDP had filed its petition, the tribunal, however, pledged to strike balance and uphold justice for all parties.
The court, therefore, adjourned hearing on a fresh application for motion on notice till Monday, May 6, 2019 after the PDP adopted its recommendation.
Earlier, Justice Shamaki had granted PDP’s application to withdraw the prayers to serve Governor Ganduje a petition by substituted means.
Governor Ganduje personally received the petition on Sunday, April 28, 2019, an action, which compelled the opposition to withdraw their earlier application.
The governor had been away on lesser pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, which frustrated PDP’s efforts to serve him personally, as specified in the electoral act.