The Plateau National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday reserved judgment in the petition filed by Mr Obidah Milaham of the APC, challenging the victory of Mr Bala Fwangje of the PDP in the Feb. 23 election.
The tribunal Chairman , Justice J.I. Nwoye, who made the declaration after all the parties involved in the matter adopted their final written addresses, said that the date of the judgment would be communicated to all parties.
Adopting final written addresses, Milaham, through his counsel, Dr. Habila Harzard, told the tribunal that it was wrong for INEC to have declared Fwangje winner after all the irregularities that marred the election.
Harzard claimed that as petitioners, they have been able to prove with all the documents and evidences laid before the tribunal that the declaration of Fwangje as winner of Mangu South Constituency for the state House of Assembly was done in error.
“The grounds of this petition is that the entire election was marred by irregularities and non compliance with the provisions of the electoral Act.
“There were issues of voting by non accredited voters and non use of the Card-reader Machines during voting, which were clearly admitted before your Lordship by some of our witnesses.
“Interestingly, our witnesses who gave such testimonies were not cross examined to show admission to the facts we laid before this honorable tribunal.
“We wish to urge this tribunal to hold that the petitioners have been able to prove all the allegations raised and allow the petition to succeed, “ Harzard pleaded.
But Eric Duniya, counsel to Fwangje and PDP described the petition as incompetent and pleaded with the Tribunal to dismiss Milaham’s petition for lacking in merit.
Duniya argued that the petitioners have woefully failed to prove the allegations of election malpractices and non compliance with provisions of electoral Act during the Feb.23 election.
According to him, “the petitioners have woefully failed to lead any evidence as the issues of malpractices and non compliance with the provisions of the electoral Act.”
“The petitioners are quite aware that they can’t prove their allegations as none of the card reader machines was brought to show its non usage by electoral officials.
“Again the other documents that could also show non accreditation of voters were not laid before this honorable tribunal and such we urged your Lordships to dismiss the petition for lack of merit,” Duniya argued.
Edited by Sadiya Hamza