From GODWIN TSA, Abuja
The Supreme Court has upheld the victory of Governor Murtala Nyako of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the duly-elected governor of Adamawa State. The apex court threw out the two petitions filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria ( ACN) and its candidate, Mr. Markus Gondiri in which they sought the order of the court to nullify the Nyako’s election on account of alleged irregularities and failure to comply with the Electoral Act.
Justice Clara Ogunbiyi in a unanimous verdict of the court tongue-lashed ACN for bringing criminal allegations cleverly dressed as civil allegation before the court. Justice Ogunbiyi held that the request by ACN that the Supreme Court should help it sever the criminal allegations from the civil allegation was strange and could not be granted, as doing so by any court would amount to helping a party in a suit to advance its case.
The Supreme Court after reviewing the cases of ACN and its governorship candidate at the tribunal and Court of Appeal said the duo failed to prove any of the bundles of the allegations they brought for adjudication. The apex court held that it had never happened and would not happen for a law court to do the case of one party, insisting that in the instant case, it was the duty of the two appellants to do their jobs as required by law. ACN through the former Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice, Chief Akin Olujinmi SAN had approached the apex court to void the Adamawa governorship election of February 4, 2011.
The grouse of the party and its candidate was that no election was conducted in the state and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also declared no result. The party also faulted the election on the alleged ground of non-accreditation of voters, multiple thumb printing, voting without biometric evidence and non-compliance with the Electoral Act. The court however agreed with Chief Godwin Kanu Agabi, counsel to Governor Nyako and Malam Hassan Liman that most of the allegations of the two petitioners were criminal in nature, which ought to have been complained to security agencies for a thorough investigation and report before rushing to court.
The apex court also agreed that the criminal and civil allegations raised by the two appellants were so intertwined that they could not be severed without destroying the case. Besides, Supreme Court also noted that over 60 statements made on oath by the witnesses of the two appellants were not signed by the witnesses and their interpreter thereby rendering the statements worthless and inadmissible in law. In the two judgments delivered by Justices Musa Datiji Mohammed and Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, they held that the two appeal cases lacked merit and subsequently dismissed them.
Reacting to the verdict, INEC lawyer, Malam Hassan Liman SAN asked politicians to learn how to accept defeat in good faith when an election was fairly and freely conducted.