From GYANG PAM, Yola
THERE was a spontaneous reaction Friday evening following the victory of incumbent Governor of Adamawa State Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri following the declaration by the Election Petition Tribunal declaring the Governor as duly elected.
One could hear a pin drop as there was tension all around the premises of the High Court where the Tribunal sat with supporters of the PDP and that of the APC as they waited from 8:00am till 6:30pm when the verdict was pronounced.
Hardly had the tribunal declared the Governor victorious when the mammoth crowd of supporters erupted into victorious shouts of it is Fintiriya! Fintiriya!!!
The tension soaked ruling that lasted from 9:20am lasted till 6:30pm when the three member tribunal rose to leave. Security was very tight around the vicinity of the High Court Complex.
In the ruling, Justice Adedara Adebara said in the whole, the Petitioners failed in their bid to unseat the Governor for several reasons.
Among some of the reasons as adduced by the tribunal was the failure of the petitioners (the APC) to join its candidate former Governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla as an interested party and that the Petition was not signed.
And according to the tribunal, the petitioners have no interest to pursue the petition he cited several references to support this declaration.
Justice Adebara disregarded the fact that the former Governor (Bindow) made a concession speech as according to him, two witnesses AIT cameraman and former chief Press Secretary both made divergent statements.
According to the tribunal chairman who read the ruling, what the tribunal saw, was the edited version of Bindow’s speech which has it that “God gives power to whom he so wish and when he so wishes”, adding that the unedited speech should have been presented.
As for the former chief Press Secretary, he was emphatic that he would have been in the picture of his boss (Bindow) if he actually made the statement.
The tribunal equally observed that it is only a candidate who wins election not a party while stressing that the party which is the petitioner is not clearly involved in the petition and so dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
“The Petition therefore, has become an academic paper”, he noted.
Justice Adebara also said despite that the petitioner is competent to file the case, he was wrong not to join his candidate and so rendered the case incompetent.
The tribunal noted that INEC must be commended for the introduction of the Card Reader Machine in the electioneering process but wants the electoral body to liaise with the National Assembly to make it a law.
“That the issue of voters Card still remain so until the Card Reader comes within the armpit of the electoral act”, he says.
The tribunal discountenance statements of the defence witnesses 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10 saying the witnesses were not competent to testify since they did not participate in preparing any of the documents adding that hearsay evidence is not admissible in law.
On the issue of bye elections in the 385 units spread in 21 local governments of the state, Justice Adebara said the Petitioners failed woefully in proving that there was over voting in these units.
The units according to our Correspondent are those in Lamurde, Numan, Guyuk, Madagali, Hong, Song, Mayo-Belwa, Michika, Demsa, Yola North, Gombi and Jada Local Government areas.
Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Chief Crowther Seth along with the Secretary to the State Government, party chieftains were among those who were at the sitting. While counsel to the PDP chief Nzadon commended the tribunal for the painstaking judgment that of the APC said they would look and study the judgment before considering their next line of action.