The election petition tribunal sitting in Kaduna State has dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its candidate challenging the victory of the PDP in the December 5th and 9th House of Assembly by-election for Bakura Constituency in Zamfara State.
DAILY POST reports that the 3-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Raliat Adebiyi gave the unanimous judgment in Kaduna on Friday, dismissing the application.
It could be recalled that the APC and its candidate, Hon. Bello Dankande Gamji had filed a joint petition on December 20th, 2020, specifically challenging the victory of Hon. Ibrahim Tukur of PDP as the winner of the December 5th and 9th House of Assembly by-election on the grounds that it was marred by massive irregularities.
APC and its candidate alleged arbitrary allocation of figures, result sheets not showing results of all political parties that participated in the election, intimidation of voters, among others.
Furthermore, the APC and its candidate claimed that they only participated in the first election held on December 5th, which was declared inconclusive by INEC, but claimed that the electoral umpire, still went ahead to conduct a rerun election four days after despite the security challenges that made the APC not to participate in the rerun election held on December 9th, 2020.
Delivering the lead judgment which lasted for over five hours, the tribunal dismissed all the claims of the petition in its entirety.
However, the tribunal added that the petitioners failed to prove substantial non;-compliance with the electoral act in most of the polling units including allegations of thuggery and harassment of voters during the election.
The tribunal, however, awarded two hundred thousand Naira cost against the petitioners in favour of the First respondent, Ibrahim Tukur, and another sum of two hundred thousand Naira in favour of the second Respondent, the PDP.
The Independent National Electoral Commission which is the umpire in the election did not ask for any cost and therefore, was not awarded any.
While the counsel to the APC and its candidate refused to comment on the tribunal judgment, counsels to the PDP, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and that of INEC, Sani Katu (SAN), both described the judgment as a true reflection of what transpired during the election, adding that from the onset, the APC’s petition was baseless and only aimed at obtaining judgment through the back door.