Tribunal okays Jibrin

The National Assembly and State House Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Kano has dismissed a petition by Aliyu Datti Yako and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Abdulmumin Jibrin, for Kano Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency.

In a unanimous decision, the three-man tribunal chaired by Justice Nayai Aganaba affirmed the victory of Jibrin in the February 23 election.

Other members of the tribunal are Justices Ashu Augustine Ewah and Mustapha Tijjani.

The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations as listed in their petitions against the respondents.

The APC and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are second and third respondents.

Yako and PDP had dragged Jibrin, APC and INEC before the tribunal, challenging the result of the Bebeji/Kiru Federal Constituency, alleging irregularities.

Yako had alleged that INEC wrongly declared Jibrin as the winner of the poll with 41,700 votes, while he was said to have scored 40,385 votes.

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In a petition filed before the tribunal on his behalf by his counsel, Chief M. N. Duru, the PDP candidate alleged that the results declared by INEC were fraught with vote-buying, violence, over-voting, inducement of voters with monetary and material gains, as well as campaigning and lobbying voters on the day of election.

He said INEC ought to have declared him (Yako), the winner of the election instead of Jibrin, claiming that he scored the highest lawful votes.

Yako alleged that the election and return of Jibrin was invalid by reason of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and approved Guidelines and Regulations for the conduct of 2019 general election.

According to him, the election and return of Jibrin were invalid by reason of corrupt practices, which vitiated the election in the Bebeji/Kiru Federal Constituency.

The petitioner said contrary to the result declared by INEC, he (Yako) won the majority of lawful votes cast and ought to have been declared winner and returned as the duly elected member for the House of Representatives for Bebeji/Kiru Federal Constituency.

Other irregularities he stated in his petition include: non-accreditation and/or improper accreditation of voters by INEC officials, intimidation and arrest of his supporters and poll agents, as well as instigation of electoral violence by the agents of first respondent.

The petitioner claimed that there were irreconcilable entries in the result declared and the number of votes recorded in favour of Jibrin by INEC in forms EC8A and EC8B.

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