The Sokoto Division of the Appeal Court on Tuesday upheld the election of Senator Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Gobir, who represents Sokoto East Senatorial District, got his election validated in a unanimous judgment by the three judges, following the court’s dismissal of the petition filed by Salihu Maidaji of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Maidaji had challenged an earlier judgment by the National and States Assemblies Elections Petitions Tribunal, which sat in Sokoto.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on February 25 declared Sen. Gobir as the winner of the February 23 senatorial election.
However, not satisfied with the decision, Maidaji filed a petition before the lower court on March 25.
The tribunal in its judgment held that the petition was filed out of time, hence statute barred and subsequently dismissed same.
Maidaji filed the appeal at the Court of Appeal on March 18.
In the judgment, Justice Hamma Akawu Barka said the court has agreed with the decision of the lower court that the petition was statute barred and it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain it.
Justice Barka said the court has affirmed the decision of the lower court and thereby dismissed the appeal.
Also, in a judgment read by Justice Fatima Akinbanmi, the court upheld the election of Dr. Abdullahi Balarabe Salame of the APC representing Gwadabawa and Illela Federal Constituency and dismissed the appeal filed by Halliru Garba Gidan Hamma of the PDP.
Justice Akinbanmi said that the court had affirmed the judgment of the lower court and that the appeal lacked merit.
The court awarded N 50,000 costs in favour of each of the three respondents.
Accordingly, in a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Ibrahim Musa Saulawa, the court affirmed the decision of the lower court that declared the election in Sokoto North 2 Constituency as inconclusive.
The lower court had also ordered INEC to conduct fresh polls in six polling units of the constituency.
Justice Saulawa averred that the appeal lacked merit and therefore dismissed it with N50,000 costs in favour of each of the three respondents.