The governorship election petitions tribunals sitting in Umuahia, Abuja, Asaba and Ilorin have dismissed petitions filed against governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State), Darius Ishaku (Taraba State), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State) and Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara State).
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Abia State, Alex Otti, had petitioned the tribunal to nullify the declaration of Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party as winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election.
Otti alleged there were irregularities in 15 of 17 local government areas in the state.
But, delivering a judgment that lasted for over three hours on Friday, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Lekan Ogumoye, said the petitioner failed to convince the tribunal that there was over-voting during the election.
The tribunal faulted Otti’s prayers that the election was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act.
Reacting to the judgment, Ikpeazu hailed the people for re-electing him and asked Otti to join him in moving the state forward.
But Otti, who spoke through his media aide, Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma, said his legal team would challenge the judgment at the Appeal Court.
In Taraba State, a three-man tribunal panel led by Justice M.O. Adewara, unanimously dismissed the petition by Abubakar Danladi of the All Progressives Congress and affirmed the PDP’s Ishaku’s re-election.
The tribunal held that Danladi and the APC failed to prove their claims that the election was marred by irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
In the lead judgment, Justice Adewara held that Danladi was not qualified to contest the 2019 election, stating that a Federal High Court in Taraba State had given a judgment on March 6, 2019, in a suit marked FHC/JAL/CS/01/2019, disqualifying Danladi from contesting the election.
The tribunal noted that the affirmation of the judgment by the Supreme Court implied that the APC had no valid candidate in the election.
In Asaba, Delta State, the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Friday upheld the victory of PDP’s Okowa and dismissed the petition filed by Great Ogboru and his party (APC).
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sulaiman Belgore, declared, “The petition was badly drafted, gold-digging, devoid of details and insufficient data. The case of the petitioner remains unproven.”
But counsel for Ogboru, Nicholes Icheko, stated that his client would appeal the judgment.
Also on Friday, the tribunal sitting in Ilorin upheld Abdulrazaq’s victory at the March 9 governorship election, dismissing the PDP candidate Razak Atunwa’s petition.
Atunwa and the PDP alleged that Abdulrazaq did not possess the West African Examinations Council certificate and that he forged the one attached to the documents he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
But, a three-member tribunal panel headed by Justice Basset Effiong said WAEC confirmed to the tribunal that Abdulrazaq’s certificate was “genuine and authentic,” adding that a former classmate of the governor told the panel that Abdulrazaq sat in his front during the June 1976 exams at the Government College, Kaduna.
Meanwhile, the National and State Assemblies Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Sokoto on Friday dismissed petitions filed against three members of the state House of Assembly on the platform of the APC.
The members were those representing Gwadabawa South, Gwadabawa North and Gada West constituencies, Messers Abdullahi Garba, Bello Idris and Abubakar Altine, respectively.
In a related manner, the Ogun State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal on Friday upheld the election of the Speaker of the state Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, and three others.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Josephine Coker, struck out the petitions filed against the lawmakers by candidates of the APC and the Allied Peoples Movement who lost at the March 9 election in the state.
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