….party says it withdrew petition because the poll was faultless

The Kogi Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday ruled on an application filed by the Action People’s Party (APP) seeking to withdraw its petition challenging the return of Governor Usman Ododo.

According to copies of the application made available to, the petitioner had sought to withdraw the petition on the ground of perceived unsustainability.

The APP in a petition with No. EPT/KG/GOV/01/2023 had filed the petition challenging the return of the Gov. Usman Ododo, the All Progressive Party (APC) and the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) as the 1st to 3rd respondents respectively, in the Kogi State Governorship Election held 11 November 2023.

The petitioner had approached the tribunal seeking the leave to withdraw the petition with No: EPT/KG/GOV/01/2023 filed on 1s December, 2023.

The Petitioner averred that upon the re-evaluation of the grounds and facts of the petition, it is not reasonably convinced about the sustainability of the grounds of the petition as presently constituted before the Tribunal.

The Petitioner also stated that the withdrawal of the petition is based on the perceived unsustainability of the grounds of the Petition and to avoid overburdening the Tribunal with numerous petitions while noting that the Petitioner or its Officers have not connived nor colluded with any party or person for the withdrawal of the Petition but based on the overriding interest of justice.

“We have not made or entered into any undertaking or agreement with any party or person for the withdrawal of the petition and it will be in the interest of justice to grant Leave to withdraw this petition and to strike out the same in view of the withdrawal,” the Petitioner stated.

In an affidavit disposed to by Abu Ibrahim Bossan, the National Secretary of the Petitioner noted that the application was brought timeously and in good faith to avoid dissipation of precious judicial time and resources.

“That the application is brought pursuant to: Order 29 Rules 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Rules of Procedure for Election Petitions and under the Inherent Jurisdiction of the Honourable Tribunal.

“It has been demonstrated that this application is brought timeously and in good faith as there is no collusion, conivance or any undertaking or agreement between the Petitioner, its officers or any person or party for the withdrawal. It is therefore based on the overriding interest of justice.

“That this Honourable Tribunal has the powers to make orders aimed at bringing this case to an end and doing justice and in this case. It is firmly within the judicial powers of the Honourable Tribunal to grant this Application and in Dapianlong v. Dariye (No. 1) (2007) ALL FWLR (Pt. 373) 1, 38 the Court of Appeal held that: “A court cannot be expected to remain static, rather for the case to progress from day to day for a just conclusion of the matter before it, there must be orders. A Judge is the master of his court and so long as there is no miscarriage of justice against any of the parties, a court can make such orders as are necessary to bring the matter to a just conclusion within the rules of court and according to law. In the instant case, the order made by the trial Judge on 15/12/06 was within the competence of the trial court, it did not occasion a miscarriage of justice on either of the parties before it and was the just order to make in the circumstances of the case.”

“On the above premise, we urge the Honourable Tribunal to grant this Application in its entirety.”

In conclusion it was noted that it is in the interest of justice for the Honourable Tribunal to exercise its discretion in favour of the Petitioner by allowing all Reliefs prayed in the application, and it is so argued upon the Honourable Tribunal.

The application to withdraw the petition was not opposed by Counsel to Alh.Ahmed Usman Ododo, Ibrahim Sanni Muhammed, SAN , Counsel to APC D.C.Denwigwe,SAN and Counsel to INEC Kanu Agabi, SAN respectively.

The Tribunal upon review of the affidavit of no objection filed by the respective counsels to the Respondents to the APP petion,struck out the petition in a ruling delivered on the 20th of February, 2024 by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Hon.Justice Ado Yusuf Birnin – Kudu.

Hearing in the remaining three petitions continues.

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