Tribunal Strikes Out PDP’s Petition Challenging Al-Makura’s Victory
The National and State Houses of Assembly Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, has struck out the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party challenging the March 9, 2019 election which returned Umaru Tanko Al-Makura as the Senator representing Nasarawa South Senatorial District.
Mr. Suleiman Adokwe, candidate of PDP in the election, had approached the tribunal challenging the victory of Al-Makura, who is the former governor of Nasarawa State and candidate of the All Progressives.
The PDP candidate who was a three-term Senator from the Senatorial Zone, argued that the declaration of Al-Makura as the winner of the election was unlawful, alleging non-compliance with the Electoral Act, intimidation of voters, unlawful cancellation of votes and malpractice in the election.
But the tribunal struck out the suit in a unanimous judgment on Friday.
Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice David Ugoh, asserted that the petitioner has failed to prove that the respondent did not score the highest lawful votes cast in the election.
Justice Ugoh added that the petitioner failed to prove his claim of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, and show how voters were prevented from voting, the illegal cancellation of results, and how malpractices were carried out.
Also, the judge said the petitioner has failed to provide witnesses from the various polling units to prove their allegation, but brought a witness who was not a polling unit agent.
Stressing that the burden of proof was with the petitioner, the Judge said the petition was lacking in merit, adding, “We, therefore, upheld the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission”.
Reacting shortly after the judgement, Israel Usman, Counsel to the petitioner, Adokwe, said they would study the judgement and decide on the next line of action.