Tribunal upholds FCT lawmaker’s election, award N.2m cost to petitioner
By Sadiq Abubakar, Abuja.
The national assembly election petition tribunal sitting at Wuse zone 3, Abuja, led by its chairman, Justice Pius Idiong, on Tuesday, upheld the election of the house of representatives member for Abuja south federal constituency Alhaji Abdulrahman Ajiya (APC) as winner of the February, 25, 2023 house of representatives election.
In a three hours unanimous judgement by the three-man tribunal, which was read by Justice Hadiza Shagari (member 1) dismissed the petition of Alhaji Hassan Usman Sokodabo of the (PDP) for being incompetent and lack merit and awarded N200, 000 cost to the petitioner to be to Ajiya.
The justices, held that the petitioners, Sokodabo has failed to prove in his petition as the petitioners witnesses of PW1, PW2 and PW3 who were subpoenaed witnesses that testified before the tribunal, did not have any sworn witness statement contrary to paragraph 4 (5) of the 1st schedule to the Electoral Act 2022.
The tribunal relied on the case of ANDP versus INEC and others, saying on all evidence and documents tendered by the witnesses were inadmissible and expunged.
The tribunal added that the evidence of Pw4 who was collation agent at the election, was a hearsay evidence, saying the petitioners witness was not present in any of the polling units where violence was said to have occured.
“On the whole, the petitioners has failed to proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, as the law is strive. And we cannot put something on non-existing something, which will definitely collapsed. The petition is hereby dismissed for being incompetent with a cost of N200,000 which will be paid to the first and second respondent,” the justices ruled.
Our correspondent recalled that the PDP house of representatives candidate, Alhaji Hassan Usman Sokodabo and his party had field a petition before tribunal to challenge the declaration of the house of representatives member, Alhaji Abdulrahman Ajiya, (APC) by INEC as winner of the March, 25, 2023 election for Abuja south federal constituency.
Sokodabo, through his counsel, Barrister Solomon Tunya, urged the tribunal to void the declaration of Ajiya by INEC as winner of Abuja south March, 25, election and ordered INEC to conduct supplementary elections in the area were allegedly cancelled by INEC in some polling units in Gwagwalada and Zuba.