In a rush to beat the 21 days deadline, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kogi State, Musa Wada, Saturday evening, stormed the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to enter his petition against Governor Yahaya Bello.
Wada arrived at the Registry of the tribunal situated at the premises of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory at Wuse 2, in company of his lawyer, Jubril Okutekpa, SAN, around 7 pm.
Though there was no power supply to the court, Wada, with the aid of lights from handsets, signed the over 1,500-paged petition that consisted of three Volumes, in the presence of officials of the court.
Okutekpa told newsmen that his client is praying the tribunal to declare him the winner of the November 16 governorship election. Cited as Respondents were the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, governor Bello and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It will be recalled that INEC had on November 18, declared Yahaya Bello of the APC as winner of the governorship election. The Returning Officer, Ibrahim Garba, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, declared that Bello polled the highest number of votes in the election with 406,222 to defeat Wada of the PDP who scored 189,704 in the election. As collated by INEC, Bello defeated Wada with a total of 216,518, while Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) came a distant third in the election with 9482 votes.
However, Wada insisted that the election was rigged in favour of the APC candidate. Aside contending that he won the election, Wada, alleged that the exercise was marred by widespread electoral malpractices and violence.
Shortly after he concluded the petition filing process last night, the PDP candidate told newsmen that he was optimistic of getting victory at the tribunal. “We hope that the judiciary will get justice not just for me, but for the common man that voted for me.
No matter what anyone may say, I still believe that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man and I am a common man” Wada said. Under the Electoral Act, a governorship election petition must be filed within 21 days after the final declaration of result was made.