The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 governorship election in Sokoto State, Sa’idu Umar, has rejected Saturday’s tribunal judgment upholding the election of Governor Ahmed Aliyu.
The position of the PDP candidate was contained in a statement he personally signed on Saturday after the judgment.
Umar stressed that the PDP remained confident and hopeful in the judicial processes to reclaim his mandate in a higher court.
He said: “I wish to express our deep appreciation to the people of Sokoto state for support and prayers since we began the struggle to reclaim our stolen mandate.
“We also give all gratitude to Allah that we have successfully reached the first milestone in our quest to serve the good people of Sokoto state through participation in the Democratic process.
“Our ambition is to render service by the approval and mandate of our people through the instrument of a free and fair election.”
He reassured his supporters and the electorate that they are part of this struggle, “which we shall pursue with all zeal and commitment.
“Today’s ruling of the Governorship Election Tribunal is only a stage in our struggle to reclaim that mandate of the electorate, who are confident of our sincerity of purpose and competence to deliver service and good leadership.
“My running mate and I and indeed our party, recognize the role of our nation’s Judiciary, as the last hope of the common man and we are well aware that it is only through recourse to it that justice can be attained.”
Umar further called on the people to remain focused, calm and law-abiding as well as rededicate themselves to the task of retrieving the mandate through the only civilised instrument that is available, which is the rule of law.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Sokoto State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Saturday dismissed the petition against Governor Aliyu and his Deputy, Idris Gobir, filed by Umar.
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Umar is challenging the election of Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress and Gobir over an alleged non-qualification and electoral fraud during the March 18, 2023 governorship election.
In a unanimous judgment. the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Haruna Mshelia, held that the petitioners were unable to prove the six grounds formulated in the petition.
He said that the grounds bordered on alleged ineligibility for Aliyu and Gobir to contest, falsification of certificates, variation of names, election frauds and non-compliance with electoral guidelines.