The National and State Assembly election petition tribunal in Plateau, on Monday, upheld the election of Rep. Mr Solomon Maren of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as member representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency.
The petitioners had asked the tribunal to nullify Maren’s election on the grounds that the INEC in the conduct of the election failed to comply with the provisions of the electoral laws.
The petitioners through their lead counsel, Mr Micah Adaji, alleged that the election was also marred by electoral malpractices and corruption and prayed the court to nullify the election and to order the conduct of a fresh election.
But Maren, through his lead counsel, Mr Sunday Odey, had asked the court to dismiss the petition for lack of merit and uphold the decision of INEC, which declared Maren as winner.
Delivering judgment, Justice Theophilus Nzeugwu, chairman if the tribunal, held that the petitioners failed ”woefully” to prove all five prayers contained in their petition.
“The law says he who alleges must prove and prove beyond reasonable doubt. But In this petition, the petitioners have woefully failed to prove the allegations they raised.
“The petitioners couldn’t present any smashed ballot box or Smart Card Reader or mutilated ballot papers/result sheets as evidence to prove their case.
“It’s our humble view that the petitioners have not been able to prove their allegations of non compliance with electoral laws by INEC that conducted the election.
“On the whole, with the totality of evidences before this honorable tribunal, we therefore hold that this petition has failed and judgment is hereby entered in favor of the respondents.
“The petition is hereby dismissed for lack of merit,”Nzeugwu held.
Responding, after the judgmemt, Adaji commended the judgment saying it was painstakingly delivered.
“But we will study the judgment and advice our clients appropriately.”
On his part, Odey commended the efforts of the tribunal and described the judgment as “apt and “judicious.” (NAN)
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Sadiya Hamza