The Sokoto State Governorship Election Tribunal on Wednesday ruled that the petition filed by Ahmed Aliyu challenging the declaration of Aminu Tambuwal as the winner of the governorship election is valid.
The tribunal, sitting at the Wuse Zone 2 Magistrate court after it was relocated from Sokoto State to Abuja for alleged security reasons, declared the petition by Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against Tambuwal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as ‘proper in law.’
On the objections raised by the petitioner against the petition urging it to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit, unanimously, the tribunal dismissed the objections and held that the petition was properly filed.
The tribunal equally ruled that the petitioners duly paid the filling fees.
It held that against the argument of the respondents that the petition disclosed substantial cause of action and was properly signed by the petitioners. It further held that the non-joinder of the running mate to the petitioners is not enough to render the petition incompetent.
On the whole, the Justice Abbas Bawale led tribunal held that the application by the respondent lacks merit and constituted waste of judicial time.
Aliyu who was deputy to Tambuwal had filed a petition before the Tribunal challenging the victory of the incumbent as well INEC for declaring him a winner in the March 2019 state governorship election.
The governorship election which held on March 9 was declared inconclusive following cancellation of 75, 403 votes which were higher than the 3, 413 votes margin between the leading candidates.
The re-run was conducted on March 23, and Tambuwal won with a slim margin of 342 votes.
Unsatisfied with the outcome, Aliyu approached the tribunal challenging the return of Tambuwal as the governor-elect, on the grounds that the election was marred with irregularities.
BREAKING: PDP Wins Imo Supplementary Election
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared Jerry Alagbaoso of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner of the supplementary election held on Saturday in Orlu/Orsu/ Oru East Federal Constituency in Imo State.
The Returning Officer of the election, Emma Anakwuba, announced the results and returned the PDP candidate under tight security at INEC’s office in Owerri on Tuesday.
This declaration is coming three days after political thugs invaded INEC’s collation centre in collation, tore the election results, accusing the electoral umpire of compromising the exercise.
INEC had already collated results of 14 out of 18 polling units before the hoodlums struck.
The results of the remaining four polling units were collated at the INEC’s headquarters in Owerri on Tuesday and thereafter a winner was announced.
The returning officer said that the PDP candidate polled 22,475 votes to emerge the winner.
According to Anakwuba, the All Progressives Congress candidate, Eddy Iheanacho got 20, 814 votes while All Progressives Grand Alliance got 5,099 votes.
He said, “That Jerry Alagbaoso of the PDP having scored the highest number of votes and satisfied the requirements of the law is returned elected.”
The winner, who was first elected into the house of representatives 2011 was reelected in 2015, was declared winner again in 2019.
An appeal court in Owerri partially canceled his victory in 2019 and ordered a supplementary election in 18 polling units in the federal constituency.
Imo Lawmaker, Uche Ogbuagu Dumps PDP For APC
Uche Ogbuagu, another member of the Imo State House of Assembly representing Ikeduru State Constituency, has joined the train of defections to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
In a letter to the Speaker, Ogbuagu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party announced his decision to switch his party affiliation to the All Progressives Congress.
He said his decision was precipitated by the “unfair” treatment he got in PDP. He said his party switch was in the interest of his constituency.
Ogbuagu, South East’s pioneer tele-comedian, built his political reputation as a critic of former governor Rochas Okorocha.
He is the owner of My Radio FM Owerri and Real FM Aba.
Last week, nine members of the PDP, APGA and Action Alliance joined the APC, following the Supreme Court ruling two weeks ago that ousted the PDP Governor Emeka Ihedioha.
On 15 January, the APC candidate, Hope Uzodinma in the 9 March election was sworn in, triggering the shifts in the House of Assembly.
More members of the House are expected to announce their departure to the APC, to give the party, a working majority.
Don’t Declare Orji Kalu’s Seat Vacant — Opponent Begs NASS
The APGA candidate for Abia North Senatorial seat in the 2019 general elections, Dr. David Bourdex, has appealed to the National Assembly not to declare vacant the seat occupied by Orji Uzor Kalu.
Bourdex, who is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), made the appeal on Monday.
Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on December 5, 2019, sentenced Orji Kalu to 12 years in jail for stealing N7.2bn from the coffers of Abia. The ex-governor was the Chief Whip of the Senate before his incarceration.
Some groups subsequently called on the Senate leadership to declare his seat vacant.
Rejecting the call, Bourdex said that the people of Abia North made their intentions clear by voting Orji Kalu, adding that demanding for his seat to be declared vacant amounted to desperation.
“It is preposterous and presumptuous to make such a demand to declare his seat vacant.
“Granted that the wheel of justice grinds slowly and surely, those of us in politics should strive to follow the rule of law without doing anything to circumvent the process.
“We should stand for fairness; and patience is necessary to ensure that justice is done both for the state and citizens and society at large,” Bourdex said.