The Plateau National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday affirmed the election of Sen. I.D. Gyang of the PDP as the duly elected Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District.
Mr Sanusi Mohammed-Inuwa of the APC, filed a petition challenging the return of Gyang by INEC.
The tribunal also dismissed the petition of Rep. Timothy Golu (PDP) against the victory of Mr Yusuf Gagdi of the APC for the Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency of Plateau.
Delivering judgment, Justice Theophilus Nzeugwu, Chairman of the Ist Panel declared Gyang winner of the Feb 23 election.
Nzeugwu described the petition filed by Mohammed-Inuwa against Sen Gyang as incompetent and lacking in merit and dismissed it forthwith.
“The petition of the petitioners has woefully failed as they (petitioners) couldn’t prove all the allegations raised and it’s hereby dismissed, ” the chairman declared.
In the other petition filed by Mr Jonathan Dabo of the PDP, challenging the victory of Mr Maitala Haruna of the APC for Bassa/Jos North Federal Constituency, Nzeugwu dismissed the petition and upheld Haruna’s election in the March 9 re-run.
Tribunal Chairman also described Dabo’s petition as incompetent and lacking in Merit.
Similar, the Chairman of the 2nd panel, Justice J.I. Nwone, dismissed Rep. Golu of the PDP’s petition for want of diligent proof to all the allegations raised in the petition.
Golu had alleged that he was short-changed of 1097 votes in Kanke LGA while there were election malpractices in 14 polling Units in Kanam LGA.
He pleaded for annulment of the election in Kanam and an order for a fresh election in Kanam
But the tribunal said it discovered that only nine polling Units and not 14 polling Units that allegedly had issues in Kanam LGA
Justice Nwone said, “no proof of over voting in all the alleged 14 polling Units has been provided by the petitioners nor show how they were short change of 1097 votes in Kanke.
“Going by section 53 of the Electoral Act over voting only occurs when number of votes cast is well above the number of registered voters in a polling Unit.
“Unfortunately, the petitioners have failed to prove the allegation of over voting in all the alleged 14 polling Units in Kanam,” She declared.
Nwone said, “the failure of the petitioners began right from their pleadings.”
“We therefore hold that this petition lacks merit and has failed and is hereby struck out and dismissed,” the chairman declared.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after judgment, Chief Sunday Odey, Golu’s counsel said, ” we will study the judgement with our clients and see the next line of action to take.”
Also responding, Chief Garba Pwul SAN, lead counsel to Gagdi, described the judgment as “very sound” and “fair to all parties.”
Pwul frowns at politicians who make frivolous and vex allegations after they loosing Elections.
He advised politicians to always take the out comes of Elections in good faith and stop going for”wild goose chase” in the courts.
MrJohnson Usman, Counsel to INEC commended the tribunal for doing Justice to all that all the parties involved in the matter presented to it and arriving at a sound judgment.
“I have never seen a detailed and sound judgement like this. It’s well founded in law,” Usman stated.
He observed that the Golu’s petition failed right from it’s reliefs “particularly para 22, 23 and 24 which the tribunal struck out by our (INEC) request.”
“Although the right to seek redress is a constitutional right, you must first look at the merit if the case before you go. Don’t go to court just to show ego.
“People should learn how to accept defeat where it’s apparent you are defeated in a contest,” he advised.
edited by Sadiya Hamza