By Sadiq Abubakar, Abuja.
The FCT election petition tribunal sitting at Magistrate Court Wuse zone 2, Abuja, on Friday, nullified the election of the incumbent chairman of the Abaji area council, Abubakar Umar Abdullahi of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area.
Delivering judgment by a three members tribunal panel led by the chief magistrate, Muinat Olashade Oyekan, declared that the ruling APC had no authentic candidate at the just concluded February 12, 2022 council election.
She, however, frowned at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for declaring APC the winner of the election without a candidate, declaring Alhaji Yahaya Garba Gawu, of the PDP who came second at the polls as duly elected chairman of the Abaji area council.
She, therefore, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Abubakar Umar Abdullahi, and present it to Alhaji Yahaya Garba Gawu of the PDP as the duly elected chairman of the Abaji area council.
The judge, also directed the FCT minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, or any person acting on his behalf to swear-in Alhaji Yahaya Garba Gawu of the PDP as chairman of Abaji.
Meanwhile, the Abaji council chairman, Abubakar Umar Abdullahi, and the INEC had filed a notice of appeal/stay of execution against the nullification of his elections by the tribunal.
Copies of the appeal and stay of execution were made available to our correspondent through his counsel on Saturday, in Abuja.
Our correspondent had reported that the INEC returning officer in the February 12, 2022 council polls in Abaji area council, Prof Gabriel Mordi, had declared APC winner of the last election without a candidate after polling 7,289 votes against the PDP Alhaji Yahaya Garba Gawu, who got 4, 062 votes in the election.
Prof Mordi said the winner will be announced after the determination of the case before the court in Abuja.
However, the Supreme court had after the election later declared Abubakar Umar Abdullahi as the authentic APC chairmanship candidate during the party’s primaries held on March 28, 2021 in the area.