From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The governorship candidate of Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), Abdulkarim Abdussalam on Wednesday willingly withdrew the petition he filed, challenging the victory of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje at the State’s Governorship Election Tribunal.
He said his withdrawal was informed by his desire to ensure peace and development in Kano state.
In an eight paragraph statement, dated May 17th, counsel to Abdussalam, Ibrahim Sa’ad, said the petition was withdrawn to allow peace reign in the state.
He cited Section 1 (a) and (b) of Electoral Act to withdraw the petition.
While delivering judgment on Wednesday, Justice Muhammad granted the request of Mr Abdussalam’s counsel and struck out the petition.
However, the Chairman of Kano State Election Tribunal, Justice Halima Mohammed, has appealed to journalists to ensure objectivity, clarity and factuality while reporting proceedings in the tribunal.
Speaking during the inaugural sitting of the governorship Election Petition Tribunal at the Kano state High court complex, Miller road, Kano, Justice Mohammed assured a level playing ground to all political parties to present their case before the tribunal.
According to her, “to the members of the fourth Estate of the realm, we expect balanced reporting, where necessary, as any form of misreporting, which has the tendency of heating up the polity will be interpreted, as a tacit hovering within the precinct of contempt.
“Election petition being sui generis (that is being time bound) and guided by its own peculiar rules of procedures, unlike the regular cases, the tribunal shall therefore not tolerate the employment of technicalities to stultify speedy dispensation of justice, as we do not intend to be caught up in the web of expired petition, due to effusion of time.”
Justice Muhammad alao urged the Kano state Attorney- General and Commissioner of Justice, Ibrahim Mukhtar to use his office to guide the bar to adhere to the ethics of the profession.
She stated that the tribunal expects the state Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to also partner, with the Attorney General to ensure decorum and good conduct of counsels during court proceedings.
She added that, “to the police, DSS and other paramilitary agencies, involved in the provision of security for the tribunal, we expect that you be on the alert and exercise due diligence in the execution of your duties.
“To the members of the political parties, the tribunal having guaranteed a level playing ground, we do not expect anyone to heat up the polity by doing acts that may be inimical to the security of the tribunal and its members,” Justice Muhammad warned.”
On his part, the Chairman of Kano branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Musa Lawan, assured of maximum support and cooperation of counsels to the tribunal.
Also speaking, the Kano state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Ibrahim Mukhtar, assured of a secured environment to the tribunal during and after the session.
He promised that the tribunal will strengthen the security and democratic system in Kano state by providing opportunity to parties to present their grievances, which emanated from the last gubernatorial election.
He said the composition of the tribunal, consisting of two female judges will serve, as an inspiration to large number of female lawyers in Kano, that with hard work, sky is their limit.