The Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Isa Ashiru, against the refusal of the Kaduna State Governorship Petition Tribunal to order for the recount of votes.
Delivering judgement on Thursday, Justice Hussaini Muktar also affirmed the orders of the tribunal, refusing to order for a recount.
It will be recalled the tribunal had struck out the petitioners’ request, seeking for a recount of votes cast in the governorship election which held on March 9, for lack of merit.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Bako, who ruled on the motion on May 29, said that the tribunal has a time frame of only 180 days to complete its assignment.
Justice Bako also refused the application for amendment of the motion, seeking to narrow the votes recount to only 12 local government areas of Kaduna state.
Specifically, the petitioners had asked the tribunal to order the votes recount in Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi, Giwa, Zaria, Sabon Gari, Makarfi, Birnin Gwari and Ikara amongst other local government areas.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, PDP and its gubernatorial candidate appealed the verdict at the Court of Appeal.
Meanwhile, the appellate court agreed with the respondents that, the counting of votes and making it an exhibit in court is part of a trial, which is capable of disposing off the main claim in the matter.
According to him, the Supreme Court frowned at that which allows a matter to be disposed off at a pre-trial conference.
He argued that the essence of pre-trial conference is to prepare parties and the court toward issues to be thrashed out at the trial and not to conclude the trial