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Tribunal Declares Saraki, Ibrahim Duly Elected


National Assembly Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin has declared that Dr Bukola Saraki was duly elected as a Sena­tor representing Kwara Central in the Upper Chamber.

Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Josiah Majebi upheld Saraki’s election yester­day while delivering a judgment in the petition filed by Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP Senatorial candidate had approached the Tribunal to challenge the Victory of Sen. Sa­raki in the March 28, 2015 elec­tion.

The Tribunal also upheld the election of Sen. Rafiu Ibrahim as duly elected to represent Kwara South in the Senate.

Arch Lola Ashiru has filed a petition at the Tribunal challeng­ing the victory of Ibrahim.

Justice Majebi, in the judg­ment held that the petitioner has failed to prove the relieves sought against the first respondent.

He declared that the PDP Senatorial candidate has failed to prove that he scored the highest number of credible votes cast in the election.

The Tribunal Chairman also agreed with Saraki’s counsel that the petition was incompetent as it was filed outside the stipulated 21 days allowed by the Electoral Act 2010.

Justice Majebi said the Tribu­nal lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition based on the fact that it was filed out of stipulated time frame.

He however said the Tribunal would go ahead to look at the grounds of appeal and merit of the matter.

Justice Majebi noted that the oral evidences of four witnesses called by the Petitioner failed to proof the case beyond doubt.

According to the Tribunal Chairman, evidences of PW1 and PW2 were mere hearsay as PW 1 failed to identify the poll­ing units where over voting took place, declaring the hearsay as mere speculative.

He said PW III who was the Forensic expert called by the pe­titioner also failed to demonstrate any academic qualification on Forensic Science.

Justice Majebi said the PW III did not demonstrate any knowl­edge relating to election exper­tise.

He held that oral evidences ad­duced by PW I, PWII and PW III rendered all the documents ten­dered in evidence useless.

The Chairman held that wit­nesses have failed to prove the petitioner’s case in identifying polling units, wards where mul­tiple thumb printing took place and identify INEC officials that perpetrated malpractices.

Justice Majebi held that the Tribunal was convinced that Dr Saraki scored the highest number of valid votes cast in the election and therefore upheld the election.

On Ashiru’s petition, the Tri­bunal also agreed with the first Respondent counsel that the peti­tion was filed out of time.

According to the Chairman, evidence before the tribunal, par­ticularly form EC8A1 showed that election results were signed on March 28 and not March 29 2015, while the petition was filed on April 19, 2015.

Justice Majebi declared that claims of irregularities, ballot stuffing and over voting, ballot snatching were based on hearsay through telephone calls and radio reports.

He held that the petitioner has failed to prove the case of over voting, ballot snatching and stuff­ing.

The Tribunal therefore dis­missed the petition against Sen. Ibrahim of the APC as incom­petent.

Speaking with journalists after the judgment, Personal Assistant (PA) to PDP Senatorial candi­date, Alhaji Abdulrasaq said his principal would surely contest the judgment at the Court of Ap­peal.



– Abioye Olarewaju

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