The Governorship Election Tribunal in Gombe State is set to begin hearing on the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Inuwa Yahaya, in the April 11 gubernatorial election.
Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, was declared winner of the election by the state returning officer on Sunday April 12.
Proceedings at the tribunal failed to kick off after Mr. Dankwambo reportedly played hide and seek with officials of the tribunal by refusing to be served.
When it became apparent that serving Mr. Dankwambo was becoming difficult, the tribunal granted the request of APC for the governor and other defendants, which include the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and others to be served through substituted means.
However, counsel to Mr. Dankwambo, appeared at the sitting of the Tribunal Monday and received copies of the petition on his behalf.
The acting secretary of the APC in Gombe State, Adamu Modibbo, informed PREMIUM TIMES that security personnel at the gate denied officials of the tribunal access to the government House.
“They always told them that they have orders from above not to let them in,” he said.
He also said in one of the visit by the court, the security men used teargas to chase the staff of the tribunal out of the Government House.
“The court was left with the final option, which was publishing the summons in the dailies or pasting it in public places,” Mr. Modibbo said.
Also, the tribunal has granted the request of the APC to inspect election materials connected with the gubernatorial election ahead of the formal commencement of hearing.
The secretary of the tribunal, Bello Doro-Abdullahi, also informed PREMIUM TIMES over the telephone that the tribunal would formally begin sitting on Tuesday next.
“We would first start with petitions on the National Assembly election, after which a day will be fixed for the gubernatorial one when it matures,” he said.
The Gombe state Governorship and Legislative Election Petition Tribunal has received 19 petitions before the time for submission of petitions elapsed Tuesday.
Mr. Doro-Abdullahi, said two of the petitions were for governorship, 10 for National Assembly while seven were for the State House of Assembly elections.