Supreme Court upholds Uba Sani’s election as Kaduna governor

Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Isah Ashiru, challenging the election of Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State

The apex court also affirmed the judgments of the lower courts i.e. the tribunal and the court of appeal, which affirmed Uba’s win in the March 2023 governorship election.

The judgment is unanimous and no cost is awarded.

About two months ago, the appeal court affirmed Uba’s win in the governorship election, dismissing Ashiru’s challenge. According to a three-man panel of the appellate court, it held that the tribunal acted in error when it depended on inadmissible evidence to order the conduct of supplementary polls in 22 polling units of four local government areas (LGAs) where the exercise was deemed inconclusive.

It said a key witness called by the PDP during the tribunal hearing merely gave hearsay evidence even when he was not present when the malpractices he alleged took place.

The court thus ascribed the witness’ allegations of deduction of votes, stuffing of ballot boxes, and mutilation of sensitive electoral materials as borne out of hearsay.

It equally agreed with the tribunal’s dismissal of the PDP and Isa Ashiru because the petitioners had abandoned their petition for their failure to apply for the issuance of a pre-hearing information sheet after the close of pleadings as required by paragraph 18(1) of the first schedule to the Electoral Act 2022.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Sani as the winner of the exercise. The APC flagbearer polled 730,002 votes to defeat his closest rival Ashiru who had 719,196 votes.

The Labour Party (LP)’s Jonathan Asake came a distant third after registering 58,283 votes while the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate Suleiman Hunkuyi scored 21,405 votes.