Tribunal upholds Wamakko’s election
The National Assembly elections petitions tribunal sitting in Sokoto, on Friday dismissed the petition brought before it by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ), Senator Ahmed Mohammed Maccido, against the election of Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, representing Sokoto North Senatorial District.
Maccido had dragged Wamakko to the Tribunal, challenging the declaration of Wamakko as the winner of the Senatorial election conducted on the 23rd of February, 2019, by the 3rd Respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The petitioner alleged among others that, Wamakko should not have been declared as the winner of the poll as he has not scored the majority of lawful votes cast.
He also urged the Tribunal to set aside the results of the election as he alleged that, it is invalid by reasons of substantial complain about the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, as well as the INEC Electoral Guidelines for the conduct of the 2019 General Elections.
Wamakko on his part has insisted that, he was duly elected as he has scored the majority of lawful votes cast, while the poll confirmed with all the extant Electoral laws.
Senator Wamakko also urged the Tribunal to dismiss the petition as it is statute-barred, having filed out of time.
Delivering the Judgment, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Peter Akhimie Akhihiero, dismissed the petition, as it lacks merit and being Statute -barred.
Justice Peter Akhimie Akhihiero also upheld that, Senator Wamakko was duly elected and the poll was conducted by INEC in substantial compliance with the electoral laws.
He awarded N 20,000 cost in favour of each of the Respondents.
Justice Peter Akhimie Akhihiero expressed happiness that, the Tribunal was the best in the country, saying,” the atmosphere has been that of peace and calmness .
“This is contrary to what obtains in other Tribunals, in other parts of Nigeria where some armed men were attempting to break into the Tribunals.
“I must, therefore, commend all the counsels and the parties for being disciplined and humble .”
Reacting to the Judgment on behalf of Senator Wamakko , his Lead Counsel, Barrister Steve Nwoke, expressed happiness that, all the issues were resolved in favour of his client.
According to Nwoke,” He will have no any distraction to continue with the good works he has been rendering to the people and we are not afraid of any appeal .”
Also reacting, the Lead Counsel of the 2nd Respondent, APC, Chief Jacob Ochidi, expressed delight that, the Tribunal has decided to do justice to all the issues of the petition.
” The petition has been deemed as Statute -barred and it was not competent. All the allegations made were not proved by the Petitioners.
“Any appeal of the judgment will surely be wasteful effort and it can’t change the will of the Almighty God.
” So, I am advising the petitioners to join hands with Senator Wamakko to further uplift the Constituency , the State and Nigeria , in general .”
In a related development, the Tribunal also dismissed the petition brought before it by the defeated candidate of the PDP in the State Assembly Election into the Sokoto South, One, Constituency, Hon. Ibrahim Gidado.
He challenged the election of the winner, APC’s Hon. Mustafa Abdullahi Dust, and alleged that , he was not duly elected as he has not scored the majority of lawful votes cast.
Gidado also alleged that, the conduct of the election breached the subsisting electoral laws.
However, in its Judgment, the Tribunal dismissed the petition for lacking in merit and the petitioners have not proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Justice Safrat Bello who delivered the Judgment also awarded N 20,000 cost in favour of all the Respondents.
Reacting to the Judgment , Lead Counsel to Dust , said that, it is one of the best he has ever seen and it is academically rich .”
Also reacting to the Judgment, Hon. Mustafa Abdullahi Dust , expressed delight with it and lauded the leader of the APC, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda, for his sustained support to their causes , all through .
While also commending his constituents, he appealed to his opponents to join hands with him, to further develop the constituency.
In a related development the National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Sokoto has today, Friday 6 September 2019 , reaffirmed the election of Member representing Binji/Silame Federal Constituency, Hon. Mani Maishinko Katami as the duly elected member under the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
Hon. Mani was challenged by Hon. Muhammad Sa’ad Nabunkari of All Progressives Congress, APC, following his defeat after the 23/2/2019 National Assembly Election.
The Petitioner, Nabunkari alleged that ,the election of Mani was not conducted according to the rules of the electoral umpire as it was contained in the INEC Guidelines.
He further said there were issues of over-voting, non-use of Card Reader Machines, non-conduct of the election in some wards and some polling units of the two areas.
The petitioners, among others, sought the cancellation of the whole election in the above-mentioned wards and Polling Units and call that the tribunal should order for the rerun or supplementary election in the areas.
Counsel to the First Respondent, Barrister UN Ebekwe, argued that the election was conducted and there was total compliance.
He also averred that, there was use of card reader machines at almost all the alleged polling units and wards in the two local government areas of the constituency.
The chairman of the Tribunal, Justice, Ubale Bawale Yusuf ruled that, the Petitioners have failed to prove their facts beyond a reasonable doubt.
He, therefore, said that the petitioners have failed to produce any register of voters and there was no card reader machine tendered before the Tribunal in which they can back their argument.
The Chairman, however, dismissed the petition for lack of strong merit.