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Zamfara Assembly Poll: Tribunal Dismisses Petition Challenging PDP’s Victory

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in northwest Nigeria.

The election petition tribunal sitting in Kaduna state has dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its candidate challenging the victory of the PDP in the December 5th and 9th House of Assembly by-election for Bakura Constituency in Zamfara State.

The three-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Raliat Adebiyi gave the unanimous judgement in Kaduna on Friday.

The APC and its candidate Bello Dankande had filed a joint petition on December 20th,2020, specifically to disqualify Ibrahim Tukur of PDP, winner of the December 5th and 9th House of Assembly by-election on the grounds that it was marred by massive irregularities.

They alleged arbitrary allocation of figures, result sheets not showing results of all political parties that participated in the election, intimidation of voters among others.

Furthermore in the APC and its candidate claimed that they only participated in the first election held on December 5th, which was declared inconclusive by INEC, but lament that the electoral umpire, still went ahead to conduct a rerun election four days after despite the Security lapses that made the opposition party not to participate in the rerun election held on December 9th, 2020.

Delivering the lead judgement that lasted over five hours, the tribunal dismissed all the grounds of the petition in its entirety.

The tribunal added that the petitioners failed to prove substantial non-compliance of the electoral act in most of the polling units including allegations of thuggery and harassment of voters during the election.

The tribunal however awarded two hundred thousand Naira cost against the petitioners in favour of the First respondent, Ibrahim Tukur and another sum of two hundred thousand Naira in favour of the second Respondent, the PDP.

The Independent National Electoral Commission which is the umpire in the election did not ask for any cost and therefore, was not awarded any.

While the counsel to the APC and its candidate refused to comment on the tribunal judgement, counsels to the PDP Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and that of INEC, Sani Katu (SAN), both described the judgement as a true reflection of what transpired during the election, adding that form the onset, APC’s petition was baseless and only aimed at obtaining judgement through the back door.

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