Supreme Court Stands Down Judgment On Imo Governorship Election •Ganduje, Yusuf know fate Monday

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The Supreme Court has stood down judgment in the suit challenging the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State. The apex court took the decision on Tuesday while hearing the appeal filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the March 9 election, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume. Senator Ararume filed the appeal to challenge Governor Ihedioha’s election after he lost at the Imo State Governorship Election Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.Meanwhile the apex court early this afternoon fixed January 20 to deliver judgment on an appeal from the governorship election in Kano State. A seven-man panel of justices of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, fixed the date on Tuesday in Abuja at the hearing of the appeal filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 9 poll, Mr Abba Yusuf. The court fixed Monday next week to decide the fate of the appeal after listening to arguments by the counsels representing the appellant and the respondents in the suit. The respondents are Governor Ganduje, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Mr Yusuf was represented at the apex court by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Adegboyega Awomolo. Earlier, Awomolo asked the court to allow his client’s appeal, including setting aside the order of the lower court and grant all the prayers of the appellant. He based his argument on the ground that the Returning Officer for the governorship election in Kano unilaterally cancelled the results from 207 polling units. The senior lawyer described the action of the electoral officer as ultra vires, null and void, but his submissions were swiftly countered by the counsel representing INEC, Mr Ahmed Raji. Raji, who is also a senior advocate, asked the court to dismiss the appeal on the ground that the allegations were false. Rather, he explained that the true situation was that agents of the appellant prevented the collation of results from the said polling units. The lawyer said there was no evidence to prove the cancellation of results by the returning officer as claimed by the appellant. In his argument, the counsel representing Governor Ganduje, Mr Offiong Offiong, aligned himself with the submissions of the INEC lawyer. He stressed that the final results submitted by the returning officer did not contain results from the 207 polling units in dispute, and there was no way he could have cancelled results he did not have. Offiong informed the court that an agent of the appellant hijacked results of 62 polling units which he later presented at the Police Headquarters in Kano. He submitted that allowing the appeal of the PDP candidate would amount to sanctioning electoral violence.•Based on reports by Channels TV.