Tribunal nullifies Bwari council chairman’s election
…Orders INEC to conduct supplementary polls in Kuje.
The FCT election petition tribunal sitting at Magistrate Court Wuse zone 2, Abuja, on Tuesday, nullified the election of the incumbent chairman of Bwari area council, John Gabaya of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Delivering judgement by a three members panel led by the chief magistrate, Muinat Olashade Oyekan, declared Shekwolo Haruna Audi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 12, 2022 council election.
She said the incumbent chairman did not win the majority lawful votes casted during the chairmanship election in the area.
According to her, the APC candidate scored the highest number of votes casted more than the PDP candidate, owing to the results of some identified polling units at some political wards that were not recorded for the APC candidate during the last council polls.
She, therefore, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Bwari council chairman and present it to the APC candidate, Shekwolo Haruna Audi, as the duly elected chairman of Bwari area council.
The judge, also directed the FCT minister, Muhammad Musa Bello or any person acting on his behalf swear-in the APC candidate Shekwolo Haruna Audi as the duly elected chairman of Bwari area council.
Reacting to the judgement, secretary of Bwari area council, Kedenya Peter, described the judgement as laughable, saying the judgement will be appealed.
Also, the tribunal had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct supplementary elections for chairmanship in 9 polling units across six political wards of Kuje area council.
The judge, while ruling on a petition filed by the APC chairmanship candidate, Hamidu Sarki Gaube, nullified elections conducted across some affected polling units that favored the incumbent chairman of Kuje area council, Abdullahi Suleiman Sabo, of the PDP.
“And it is clear that the petitioner (APC) has established their claims and the judgement is hereby entered in their favor. And this tribunal therefore, nullified elections across the affected polling units while INEC is hereby directed to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days,” she said.
The affected polling units are, Central primary school polling units in Gudunkarya ward, Chief palace open space polling unit in Yenche ward, Tusha Gwargwada in Gwargwada ward, Kiyi polling units in Chibiri ward and Rubochi primary School.
Other affected polling units include, Dibe polling units, Gidan Bawa polling units, Kapwa polling units and central primary school polling units in Gaube ward.
The PDP chairman in Kuje area council, Alhaji Mohammed Ismaila Dogara, while also reacting to the judgement, said the party was unperturbed by the judgement, saying PDP will always win if elections are conducted 100 times.
He said the council will not appeal the judgement while urging members and supporters of the party to remain calm as the PDP will still win the supplementary elections across the affected polling units.