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Breaking: Tribunal Upheld Lalong Election, Dismisses Jerry Useni Petition



By Jide Afolabi, Jos

The Plateau state governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Jos, Plateau state has declared the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the March 9 governorship election in Plateau state, Rt Hon Simon Bako Lalong as the validly elected governor of the state.

The tribunal in a four hours judgment delivered today, Wednesday in Jos, Plateau state capital dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and it’s candidate in the election, General Jeremiah Useni (Rtd) for failure to prove their case.

The petitioners had alleged that the second respondent, the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the general election, Rt Hon Simon Bako Lalong was not qualified to contest the election because of the differences in the names on his certificates.

The tribunal dismissed it saying that Lalong was qualified to contest the election.

On the issue of Lalong different names as alleged by the petitioners and the certificate issue, the Tribunal held that the second respondent is not the owner of the certificate, and the tribunal held and resolved that the second respondent, Lalong is the owner of the certificate and all the four different names are linked.

On the allegations of over-voting and corruption, the tribunal cancelled some votes and yet stated that the governor still won with 46, 143 margins.

APC in the final results declared in March had a total votes 595,582 while PDP scored 546,813.

However, the tribunal nullified 4065 from APC total votes and 1,439 from PDP total votes.

After the judgement, APC scored a total vote of 591,572 while PDP got 545,374 with a total margin of 46,143.

The Tribunal maintained that with just 13 polling units proved out of 38 witnesses called by PDP, it is impossible to upturn the clear victory of APC.

The tribunal said that the petitioners have failed to prove its case and thereby dismissed the petition.

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