Appeal Court upholds Fintiri’s election, fines APC’s Binani N1m

0
294

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the re-election of Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri in response to an appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Senator Aisha Dahiru Binani.

The appellate court also ordered Binani and APC to pay N1 million to the governor and his party, the People’s Democratic Party, for filing a “vague” application.

Binani’s appeal was against the decision of the Adamawa State governorship election petition tribunal, which upheld Fintiri’s re-election.

After its supplementary election, INEC announced Fintiri as the winner of the polls with 430,861 votes while Binani of the APC polled 398,788 votes.

Binani then approached the tribunal citing allegations of corrupt practices and non-compliance to the Electoral Act.

But the Tribunal dismissed Binani’s petition saying “the petitioners woefully failed to establish their allegations of non-compliance with the Electoral Act and prove their case with cogent, credible and satisfactory evidence.”

Binani’s counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in 27 grounds of appeal, asked the Appeal Court to declare that the lower court erred.

On Monday, a three-man panel of the court led by Justice Tunde Awotoye held that the appellant’s brief was invalid and is likely to be struck out for being incompetent.

Awotoye further held that the appellants filed an incompetent record of appeal contrary to the practice directions of the court and tried to make the appeal court speculate.

The appeal court also held that the appellant’s allegations of corrupt practices were not backed by sufficient evidence and were rightly struck out by the Tribunal.

“The evidence of the appellants at the Tribunal was hearsay evidence which deserves to be ignored,”

“I hold that this appeal lacks merit and is dismissed,” the court held while approving the cost of N500, 000 in favour of each of the second and third respondents (Fintiri and PDP).