By Jide Afolabi, Jos
The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting at High Court, Jos, Plateau State capital, has upheld the victory of Senator Representing Plateau Central Senatorial Zone, Nde Hezekiah Dimka of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
Delivering Judgement around 7:30 pm on Tuesday, after four hours, the tribunal dismissed the petition of Nde David Shikfu Parradang of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, against Dimka.
The Chairman of the Tribunal said, “failure of the petition to succeed began right from the Petitioners pleadings itself”.
The tribunal noted that while most of the issues raised in the petitioners pleadings, were said to be, either set aside, or not been given any consideration at all, most of the documents tendered by the petitioners to back their claims that, the election processes were marred by different electoral irregularities at some quotas were also either been declared, has been expunged from the tribunal records, or inadmissible for not meeting up with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
While commenting on the witnesses statements and testimonies on electoral materials which petitioners intended to proof some levels of irregularities particularly that of Yagba Kundu who is the Head of Department of Operations and logistics at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the tribunal ruled that, “Yagba Kundu only identified the documents to have emanated from INEC, but did not relate same to what happened in the polling units where elections were held. As such the required allegations, therefore, has not been met up with.”
The tribunal also said that the petitioner failed to proof its allegations of over-voting in the contested election.
The tribunal said, provided evidences on their records have been set aside because the claims were not accompanied by voters register and Smart Card Readers, SCR, nor the Smart Card Readers results of those polling units for petitioners to prove their case. The Tribunal, therefore, concluded that, “it will be impossible to proof a case of over-voting without those necessary materials and therefore, allegations of over-voting has not been met up with”.
On the petitioners claim of wrongful computations of results which led to 9 Polling Units results cancellations and petitioners claiming that it led to the exclusion of 6000 votes belonging to PDP in favour of APC and requested tribunal to order fresh election.
The tribunal said, “none of the petitioners witnesses gave any evidences of such wrongful computations of the elections, and tribunal therefore resolved these issues against the Petitioners ”.
At an event organised to celebrate the victory held at the popular Hill Station Hotel in Jos, Senator Dimka appreciated the people for given him the mandate. He thanked God for the judgement and promised to do his best for the good people of Plateau state especially, his constituents. In attendance was Hon Yusuf Gagdi and other APC stakeholders.
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