The three-member panel stated that all the grounds presented by the petitioner failed and therefore were dismissed.
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Kaduna, on Saturday, affirmed the election of Lawal Usman of the Peoples Democratic Party as the senator representing Kaduna Central.
The candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Muhammad Abdullahi, had filed a petition challenging the election of the PDP senator, on four grounds.
Mr Abdullahi questioned the genuineness of Mr Usman’s educational qualification and claimed there was overvoting during the election.
Mr Abdullahi also claimed that the PDP candidate was not nominated in accordance with the law and that he was not validly sponsored by his party, the PDP.
However, the three-member panel led by H. Kereng ruled that all the grounds presented by the petitioner failed and were therefore dismissed.
Mr Kereng stated that the petitioners failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the first respondent’s NECO results and other school certificates were forged.
He added that the petitioners’ had also failed to prove that the first respondent was not duly elected by the majority of votes in the February 25 polls.
“The APC got 182,035 votes while PDP got 225,066 votes giving a margin of 43,031. The petitioners have failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the respondent didn’t get majority votes.
“Therefore, this issue is in favour of the first respondent and against the petitioner,” he said.
On the issue of non-compliance, the judge also stated that the petitioner could not prove that the nomination of Mr Usman as the candidate of the PDP did not comply with the law.
He added that the issue of sponsorship and nomination of candidates was the responsibility of the political party, not the court.
“The elections and return of the first respondent is hereby affirmed. This petition is hereby dismissed,” he ruled.
Speaking to journalists after the judgment, an elated personal assistant to the senator, Jalal Falal applauded the tribunal.
” The tribunal was fair and just. We won the election squarely. I call on them to join hands with the senator in order to move the state forward,” he said.
An associate of the APC candidate told PREMIUM TIMES that the petitioner will review the judgement and will make their stance known in due course.
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Publish date : 2023-09-10 10:18:58