Election Tribunal Rulings: APC, PDP, and LP Assess Gains and Losses Across States.
In the wake of recent rulings by various election tribunals across Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Labour Party (LP) are taking stock of their victories and setbacks in both the governorship and legislative contests.
In Plateau State, the election tribunal rendered a significant decision that has implications for the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Alfred Dabwan’s Petition Dismissed: The tribunal sitting in Jos, the state capital, dismissed the petition filed by Alfred Dabwan of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) against Governor Caleb Mutfwang of the PDP. This ruling signifies a victory for Governor Mutfwang and reinforces his mandate as the duly elected governor of Plateau State.
Alfred Dabwan’s petition had contested the validity of Governor Mutfwang’s election, raising various issues related to the electoral process. However, the tribunal’s decision affirmed the integrity of the election and upheld the PDP’s victory in the state.
As a result of this ruling, Governor Caleb Mutfwang and the PDP can now focus on their responsibilities and governance in Plateau State without the shadow of electoral challenges.
In Abia State, the election tribunals have delivered crucial verdicts that impact both the Labour Party (LP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Munachim Alozie’s Victory Invalidated: The tribunal sitting in Umuahia declared the election of Labour Party’s Munachim Alozie as invalid. Munachim Alozie had been declared the winner of the Obingwa/Osisioma/Ugwunagbo Federal Constituency election. The ruling highlights election irregularities and questions regarding Alozie’s eligibility.
LP Candidate’s Victory Upheld: On a positive note for the LP, the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, also in Umuahia, upheld the victory of LP candidate Ginger Onwusibe in the Isiala Ngwa North and South Constituency. This tribunal decision dismissed the petitions filed by the PDP candidate, Chief Anthony Agbazuere, and the APC counterpart, Chijoke Ikpo, against Onwusibe.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had initially declared Ginger Onwusibe as the winner after he secured 20,411 votes, defeating Chief Anthony Agbazuere, who garnered 13,508 votes, and the APC candidate, who received 2,976 votes.
In his petition, Agbazuere argued that Onwusibe should be disqualified for not officially resigning from the PDP before joining the LP. He also alleged that INEC had not been given the required 30-day notice before the party congress where Onwusibe was selected as the LP candidate.
However, the LP candidate, represented by his counsel, Mr. Okite Okite, contended that the petitioners’ claims were pre-election matters that had already been decided in favor of his client at the Supreme Court.
Tribunal Orders Rerun in Abia: Another significant development in Abia State came from the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia. The tribunal declared the election in the Obingwa/Osisioma/Ugwunagbo Federal Constituency null and void, ordering a rerun to be conducted within the next 90 days, in accordance with the constitution.
The tribunal, led by Justice Lawal, emphasized that the LP candidate had been erroneously declared the winner and that his victory could not stand. This decision stemmed from a petition by the candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Ibe Michael Nwoke, who argued that Munachim Alozie was not duly elected, citing discrepancies in the margin of lead
In Delta State, the election tribunals have delivered several rulings that impact various candidates and political parties, including the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Francis Waive’s Election Nullified: In a notable decision, the tribunal in Asaba nullified the election of Rev. Francis Waive, a member of the APC, representing the Ughelli/Udu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. This ruling came in response to a challenge by the PDP candidate, Chief Solomon Awhinawhi, who questioned Waive’s victory.
The tribunal declared Francis Waive’s election invalid, citing issues related to improper documentation, and declared Solomon Awhinawhi as the winner. Additionally, the tribunal ordered a rerun at Enwhe Ward 09 in Isoko South Local Government Area in Isoko Federal Constituency.
Dickson Ebegbare’s Challenge: In another tribunal ruling in Delta State, the SDP candidate, Mr. Dickson Ebegbare, challenged the election of Jonathan Ukodhiko of the PDP, alleging that lawful votes were not cast and that elections did not take place in Enhwe. The tribunal held that INEC should have conducted a rerun in Enhwe.
Kano State: In Kano State, the election tribunals have issued significant rulings affecting various candidates and political parties, including the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila’s Victory Upheld: One of the notable tribunal rulings in Kano State pertains to the Kano South Senatorial District election. The tribunal upheld the victory of Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as the winner. The APC had challenged Sumaila’s election in this senatorial district, but the tribunal dismissed the APC’s petition, deeming it incompetent.
The tribunal ruled that the APC’s petition lacked merit and affirmed the declaration of Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila as the duly elected senator for Kano South Senatorial District. This decision underscores the importance of adhering to legal procedures in electoral disputes.
Idris Dankawu’s Forged Certificate: In another tribunal ruling, the election of Idris Dankawu, an NNPP member representing Kumbotso Constituency in the Kano State House of Representatives, was voided. The tribunal found that Dankawu had forged his West African School Certificate (WAEC) when he contested the election.
Munir Babba Danagudi, the petitioner, had alleged that Idris Dankawu forged his secondary school certificate to secure admission into Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria, Kaduna State. The tribunal agreed with the petitioner and declared Dankawu’s victory invalid. It directed INEC to set aside the Certificate of Return issued to him and declared Munir Babba Danagudi as the winner.
Benue State: Solomon Wombo of the AD secured victory in the KatSina-Ala/Ukum/Logo Federal Constituency, as the National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi ruled in his favor, emphasizing that the petitioners failed to prove their case.
Edo State: The APC celebrated the reaffirmation of Peter Akpatason’s re-election as the House of Representatives member from Akoko-Edo Constituency, with the LP’s petition against him being dismissed by the tribunal.
Supreme Court Appeal in Delta State: Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori filed a Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja. The appellate court ordered the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to hear on merit the LP candidate Ken Pela’s petition challenging his election.
In summary, these tribunal rulings reflect the complexities and legal intricacies surrounding election disputes in Nigeria. They also underscore the importance of the judiciary in upholding the rule of law and ensuring fair and transparent electoral processes. As parties assess their gains and losses, the impact of these decisions will have far-reaching consequences in the nation’s political landscape.