Tribunal Orders Re-run in Lafia/Obi Federal Constituency

Godwin Enna,

The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal seating in Lafia, Nasarawa State has ordered a re-run in the election for the Lafia/Obi Federal Constituency.

Delivering a judgment which lasted about three and half hours, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Honourable Justice W. A. Cheychey ordered that a re-run election be conducted for 24 polling units of Agyaragun Tofa Ward of Lafia Local Government Area among other affected areas.

The petition was filled by the People Democratic Party’s candidate, Hon. Dr. Joseph Haruna Kigbu, challenging the victory of Hon. Abubakar Sarki Dahiru of APC as member representing the constituency.

Hon. Dr. Joseph H. Kigbu (PDP), the petitioner
Hon. Abubakar Sarki Dahiru (APC), the respondent

According to the Justice Weli A. Chechey, the cancellation of results in some polling units of Agyaragu Tofa Electoral Ward of Lafia Local Government Area (LGA) by the Local Government Collation Officer was illegal, especially when free and fair election was conducted and results announced at the various polling units.

He stated that the cancellation of results in the affected polling units was done without following the electoral guidelines and procedure and INEC failed to proof beyond reasonable doubt that there was justifiable cause to the cancellations and as such, gave ruling in favour of the petitioner.

“The LGA Collation Officer does not have the right to cancel any result, more so that there was no written complaint from the Presiding Officers of the affected areas,” the Chairman added.

He noted that the evidence before the tribunal, has shown the election of February 23 was free of any rancour therefore it was wrong to cancel results from a free, fair and credible election.

He said that cancellation was arbitrary, unauthorized and illegal and declared it as such and directed INEC to conduct rerun in the affected polling units.

It could be recalled that results in Tudun Adabu Electoral ward of Obi and Shabu/Gwandere, Ashigye, Keffi Wambai, Makama and Arikya Electoral Wards in the said constituency were cancelled by INEC during the February 2019 Presidential and National Assembly election in the state.

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