- Police deploy 1,000 personnel in Sokoto
From Raji Bello, Sokoto and Edwin Olofu, Kano
There is palpable tension and anxiety in the camps of both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of the Supreme Court judgement of the governorship tussle between the incumbent Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the candidate of the PDP, Abba Kabir Yusuf today.
Similarly, Sokoto State Police Command has deployed no fewer than 1,000 personnel to curb any breakdown of law and order today when the Supreme Court hears the appeal brought before it by the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2019 governorship elections, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto against Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
The State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kaoje in a statement made available to our correspondent in Sokoto, said the measure was to ensure that peace reigns before and after the hearing.
Kaoje said that particular attention was being focused on the Sokoto metropolis and its environs, as well as on some strategic locations within their vicinities.
“We are on a 24-hour red alert and we are on standby , round the clock, 24/7. We will not waiver in our sustained routine and surprise tactics to keep the peace.
“We will leave no stone unturned in keeping the State safe and secure , for all the law abiding residents to conduct their lawful businesses.
“The strategy would be maintained until further notice, in line with the recent directive issued by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), on a 24-hour, nationwide red alert.
“The massive deployment of our officers and men has by the special grace of God, paid off and we will not relent in our efforts. This is to ward off any unpatriotic persons from breaching the peace, as well as the unrepentant criminals,” the CP, added .
The APC in the state and its governorship candidate have dragged Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), before the Supreme Court over his re-election .
Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto in his submissions challenged the judgements of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and that of the Appeal Court that all dismissed his petitions, for lack of merit.
Earlier, the tribunal and Appeal Court had dismissed APC’s petition, for lacking in merits on the 2nd of October and 22 of November, 2019, respectively.
The four-member panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division in their unanimous judgement read by Presiding Justice Husseini Mukhtar agreed that, the petition filed by APC and its Governorship Candidate, challenging the victory of Governor Tambuwal, as upheld by the Tribunal, was lacking in merit.
A notice signed by Ibrahim Gold, Director/HoD, Litigation, dated 10th January, 2020, said the Appeal will be listed for hearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Monday, 13th January, 2020.
When contacted, the State Commissioner for Information, Hon. Isah Galadanchi declined to comment on the development, saying their views will be reserved till after the court’s pronouncement today.
However, the APC spokesman in the State, Sambo Bello Danchadi said the party is expecting victory in the end, “because we have presented good case before the apex court.”
In Kano, our reporter gathered that the Kano governorship case is slated for hearing today at the Supreme Court in the appeal suit filed by the PDP candidate.
There is the likelihood of the Apex Court delivering judgment today based on its antecedent.
Our correspondent reports that the Kaduna division of the Court of Appeal on November 22 upheld Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s election as governor of Kano State.
In a lead judgment read by Justice Tijjani Abubakar, the panel dismissed the petitions filed by the PDP and Abba Yusuf, governorship candidate of the opposition party, on the grounds that the petitions lack merit.
The Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) had declared Abdullahi Ganduje winner of the election, as he scored 1,033,695 votes while Abba Yusuf, his closest rival, polled 1,024,713 votes.
Not satisfied with INEC’s declaration, Abba Kabir Yusuf and the PDP headed to the tribunal where they sought annulment of the election “on the grounds that there were irregularities.”
However, judgment was delivered in favour of Ganduje.
The Supreme Court registry on Friday evening notified the parties that judgment in the case will be on Monday.
Both camps are jittery on the final outcome of the election dispute, that will shape the political future of the state and the future of some powerful political heavyweights in the state.
The Kano State Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba said he remained optimistic that the outcome of the Supreme Court will remain the same from the previous verdicts.
“ I really don’t want to comment on the issue so that I won’t be charged with court contempt. But the truth is that we are not expecting anything new from the previous outcomes of the court judgment.”