…as Justice Akhihiero adjourns pre- hearing to May 10th in Kalanjeni’s petition
By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
The Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, has urged the National and States Assemblies Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Sokoto, to strike out the petition filed by Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) defeated candidate in the 2019 Sokoto North Senatorial District Election , Senator Ahmed Mohammed Maccido for not meeting the required constitutional time of filing the petition.
Senator Maccido, filed a Petition before the Tribunal challenging the declaration of the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress ( APC),Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, as the winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC).
First Respondent(Wamakko) Lead Counsel, Dr Hassan Liman, SAN, has however filed an application , praying the Court to strike out the said petition filed by Senator Maccido.
Liman submitted that , the petition was filed out of time and it contravened the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria .
According to him, ” Section 285, sub section 5 of the Constitution requires such petitions to be filed 21 days after the date of the declaration of the results of the election .
” The petitioner filed the petition on the 18th of March ,2019, which is clearly outside the 21 days required by the law.
” We have therefore urged the Tribunal to strike out the petition , no matter how good it is . Senator Wamakko has won his election , validly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. “
Both the Lead Counsel of the 2nd Respondent , APC, Chief Jacob Ochidi and that of the 3rd Respondent , INEC, Barrister Henry Eni-Otu, aligned themselves with the submissions of Dr Hassan Liman and urged the Court to strike out the petition .
Lead Counsel for Senator Maccido , Barrister Ibrahim Abdullahi, had argued that , the petition was filed within the stipulated time .
Tribunal Chairman, Justice Peter Akhimie Akhihiero, adjourned the pre – hearing session to Friday , 10th May,2019, for continuation .
Meanwhile, the Governorship, National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Sokoto State, has granted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) request to file processes out of time application in Isa Bashar-Kalanjeni’s petition.
Kalanjeni, representing Tangaza/Gudu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives was defeated by Salihu Kurdula of All Progessive Congress (APC) in the 2019 election.
However, Bashar-Kalanjeni approached the tribunal to challenge Kurdula’s victory on the grounds that the election was marred with gross irregularities.
Counsel to INEC, Mr Tolani Oladipo, moved an application to file response processes out of time.
The application was not opposed by Bashar-Kalanjeni’s Counsel, Mr Abdulhakeem Ibrahim, Counsel to Kurdula, Chief Jacob Ochidi and Mr Steve Nwoke, Counsel to APC.
Tribunal Chairman, Justice Peter Akhihiero, adjourned to May 10th, 2019 for the pre-hearing session.