Posted by By YINKA FABOWALE on
The nullification of the election of Murtala Nyako as the governor of Adamawa State is a continuation of interesting scenarios playing out at the various election petition tribunals and Court of Appeal.
The nullification of the election of Murtala Nyako as the governor of Adamawa State is a continuation of interesting scenarios playing out at the various election petition tribunals and Court of Appeal. Since the end of the 2007 general elections, regarded as one of the nation’s worst polls, the courts have upturned many “victories” especially of high-profile personages including seven governors, speakers of state Houses of Assembly, members of House of Representatives and senators.
This trend, ironically, has been engendered by President Umaru Yar’Adua’s promotion of due process and the rule of law, which brought out the intrepidity and incorruptibility in the courts that consequently added bite to their barking.
The floodgate to the nullification of governorship elections, which incidentally was mostly against the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) began with the Supreme Court ruling, 16 days after the May 29, 2007 handover, that Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State was yet to serve out his term. Obi had won the 2003 polls on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), but was only sworn in three years later. Consequently, the apex court ruled that since Obi’s tenure was still running, the 2007 polls that produced Mr Andy Uba as governor was null and void.
Thereafter, attention shifted to Kogi State, where the tribunal nullified the election of Ibrahim Idris as governor, over unlawful exclusion of one-time governor of the state Alhaji Abubakar Audu, from contesting the April 2007 polls. Of course Idris appealed, but this was thrown out recently by the Appeal Court, which upheld the judgment of the lower court.
Clarence Obafemi, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly who stepped in as acting Governor himself has a case pending in the Appeal Court challenging the overturning of his election by the tribunal.
Next governor to have his reign abruptly terminated was Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi State, and Yar’Adua’s son-in-law. Dakingari’s victory was nullified in October last year as a result of a petition filed by the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) candidate in the election, who averred that the governor was not qualified to contest.
The governor, has, however, appealed against the tribunal’s verdict.
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