The Gombe State Election Petition Tribunal yesterday ordered a substituted service on the state Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo sequel to difficulty being encountered to serve the necessary court papers on the governor.
The tribunal gave the pronouncement yesterday after entertaining a motion filed by Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), who is the counsel to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya.
A court bailiff, Mohammed Dawaki, had gone to serve the tribunal processes on the governor, last Friday but was barred by government officials.
At the resumption of the hearing of the election petition of the APC yesterday, Akintola, who is the counsel to the party’s candidate, Alhaji Yahaya filed an application for substituted service.
Also, in the petition before the tribunal, the APC and its governorship candidate alleged that some of the results from 11 local government areas in the state were either inconclusive or marred with all sorts of electoral malpractices.
The following reliefs sought by the plaintiff include:
“An order declaring him and the APC as the winner of the Governorship Election of April 11, 2015 in Gombe State having scored the highest number of total votes cast in the said election.
“An order compelling the 3rd Respondent (the Independent National Electoral Commission) to withdraw from Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the Certificate of Return as the validly elected governor of Gombe State in the governorship election held on April 11 2015.
“An order compelling INEC to present to APC governorship candidate, Alhaji Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya as the validly elected governor of Gombe State in the governorship election held on April 11 2015.”
In the alternative, APC and its candidate, Alhaji Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya sought for an “order nullifying the entire governorship election conducted in Gombe State on April 11, 2015 on the grounds of corrupt practices or non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010.”
The APC and its candidate had averred in the affidavit filed in support of the motion that:
•The governorship election of April 11, 2015 in Gombe State conducted by INEC was marred by corrupt practices, fraud and outright rigging.
•The votes “allegedly credited to Governor Dankwambo and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the polling units and wards of Gombe State were invalid on the ground of corrupt practices, fraud, multiple voting, ballot snatching, ballot stuffing and outright rigging.
•The governorship election in Gombe State suffered from non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
•Governor Dankwambo and PDP were not duly elected and did not score the lawful majority votes cast at the April 11governorship election in Gombe State and ought not to have been returned.
– The Sun