23rd September, 2019
The National/State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, Plateau on Monday upheld the election of a lawmaker in the state’s House of Assembly.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Mrs. Zainab Dogo had petitioned the tribunal challenging the outcome of the March 9 re-run State House of Assembly election.
The petitioners alleged that election was marred with irregularities ranging from over voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act. They prayed the tribunal to declare Dago as the winner or order a fresh election.
In a unanimous decision, the tribunal chairman, Justice Theophilus Nzeugwu, described the petition as incompetent and lacking in merit.
“Consequently, the petition, which is incompetent, is hereby dismissed for lack of merit,” he said.
The second arm of the tribunal, chaired by Justice Joy Nwoye, also upheld the election of Mr. Balance Fwangje (PDP-Mangu South), dismissing the petition filed by Mr. Habila Milaham of the APC. Delivering judgment, Justice Nwoye, said that Milaham and his party, could not prove the allegations of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act labelled against Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and PDP in the March 9 rerun election.
Milaham had challenged INEC’s declaration of Fwangje as the winner of the election on grounds that the election was marred with corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of electoral laws. He asked the tribunal to either declare him winner or order for a fresh election in areas affected by irregularities.
While upholding Fwangje’s victory, the tribunal held that the petitioners woefully failed to prove all the allegations raised and described the petition as “incompetent “ and “lacking in merit.”