Election Tribunal Conspiracy: Shehu Sani Accuses INEC of Hiring Governor el-Rufai’s Lawyer
By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
Senator Comrade Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central at the Senate, has accused the Independent National Commission (INEC), of conspiring with the Kaduna state Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, by hiring his personal lawyer in the defence of what he called, “rigged and fraudulent” election in Kaduna state.
The lawyer, A.U Mustapha and Co, according to Senator Sani, has been el-Rufai’s Lawyer and Counsel for more 15years.
The Senator who contested under, Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), was declared third among contestants who ran for senatorial positions, of INEC, announced the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Uba Sani as the winner.
According to Shehu Sani, the same lawyer is a counsel to the governor in a defamation case instituted him, by the governor in four different High Court (2, 3, 5 and 9).
“INEC has decided to hire Governor el-Rufai’s personal lawyer as their counsel. It is suspicious and it proves governor of the state and INEC using A.U. Mustapha and Co, who remains personal lawyer of Gov el-Rufai.
“He is the one defending Gov el-Rufai in a case of defamation which he filed against me in four courts in Kaduna State.
“As a personal lawyer of el-Rufai now being hired by INEC in a case where el-Rufai is a party. A.U. Mustapha is also standing for el-Rufai Vs Union Newspaper and Gabriel Idibia. He has been his personal lawyer. For over 15 years, it is A.U. Mustapha who represents el-Rufai in court.
“How ethical is it for INEC that says it has conducted free and fair election to hire the services of a personal lawyer of a governor who himself is a party in court,” he explained.
He said even though he is not out to challenge the legality of INEC’s action in that regard, he noted that his lawyer has written to notify the INEC headquarters on the ethics of the matter.
“We are going to prove our case in court and the massive rigging, fraud and , we will prove our case.
“Our democracy can only thrive with electoral system that ensures free fair credible elections through which leadership that can claim integrity emerges.
“The election from the onset was geared towards removing some of us and installing a stooge and lackey.
“The best place to contest result is a tribunal and we have done that. Integrity is founded on leadership through lawful and legitimate process. Election that took place in Kaduna was neither free, fair or credible,” he added.
Shehu Sani’s lawyer, Avong Emmanuel Didam Esq, had in his letter to INEC, requested it to answer the following poser;
“a. Did the Governor of Kaduna State technically followed up the process that led to our client being announced as the 2nd runner up in the election of 23rd February, 2019 as announced by INEC and in a bid to cover up the misdeed, Malam Nasir El-Rufai (your Excellency), procured the services of his personal lawyer, counsel; A. U. Mustapha & Co. and thereafter donated and or offered him to INEC?
“b. Is INEC not aware that Malam Nasir EL-Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State through his personal lawyer; A. U. Mustapha & Co. is prosecuting our client before the High Court of Justice, Kaduna State as a serving and sitting Governor before High Court number 2, 3, 5 and 9?
“c. What relationship exist between INEC and Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State that would warrant and or inform INEC to have briefed A. U. Mustapha & Co. the personal lawyer and retained counsel of Malam Nasir El- Rufai to represent INEC at the National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal?
“d. What are the criteria adopted by INEC before the said A. U. Mustapha & Co. was briefed by INEC and the said brief, does it show that INEC is truly independent as they (INEC) claim to be?
“e. Could it then be said that there was a ground conspiracy between INEC and the Kaduna State Governor, as such, the climax of same, is the appointment of the Governor’s lawyer by the Governor to INEC?
“AS an independent umpire, we believe INEC ought to perform its duties in a manner reflecting its name and the generality of the people would truly believe in their (INEC) being independent and uninfluenced by the executive arm of government.”