Categories: Politics

Tribunal Nullifies PDP’s Win, Orders Rerun In Niger Federal Constituency 


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been ordered to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Joshua Gana of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was declared as the winner of the February 25 National Assembly Election.

The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal on Thursday also ordered INEC to set aside the election of the respondent and ordered a rerun in twenty-three polling units of the Mokwa, Edati, and Lavun federal constituency of Niger State.

Joshua Gana was declared the winner of the exercise.

But the Chief of staff to the Governor of Niger State Abdullahi Gbatamagi of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who contested along with Joshua Gana lost out to the respondent and approached the tribunal requesting that he should be returned as the rightful winner of the election.

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Gbatamagi claimed that the respondent lost in some of the polling units across the three federal constituency of Edati Lavun and Mokwa as the election in those polling units were characterized by irregularities and other electoral malpractices requesting the tribunal to upturn the election and return him as the rightful winner of the election.

While reviewing the submissions of both counsels, the tribunal expurged some of the evidence and admitted all exhibits related to the conduct of the poll.

After painstakingly reviewing all evidence, exhibits, and witnesses that testified, Justice Mohammed Rashid submitted that all evidence tendered before the tribunal was convincing enough.

He then submitted further that the tribunal was convinced by the testimonies of the counsel to the petitioner that the exhibits and evidence availed to the tribunal were proved beyond every reasonable doubt.

In a unanimous judgment, the tribunal ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the certificate of return issued to the respondent.

Justice Rashid also ordered the conduct of the rerun in the twenty-three affected polling units within the next ninety days.

In an interview with journalists shortly after the judgment, the counsel to the petitioner Barrister Philip Adah of Jonson Usman SAN Chambers described the verdict as well-researched.

He said the tribunal has really proved that the petitioner was able to establish that all evidence and submission tendered before the tribunal were convincing.

Emmanuel Egobiambu

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