The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia on Saturday (September 22, 2019) dismissed the petition filed by the PDP Governorship Candidates, Hon Davematics David Ombugadu, thereby affirming the election of Gov. Abdullahi Sule of the APC.
Delivering judgment Justice Abba Mohammed, Chairman of the Tribunal, dismissed the petition filed by Hon Davematics David Ombugadu challenging the election of Gov. Sule in the March 9 Governorship poll.
In a unanimous judgment, Justice Mohammed, held that the PDP petition lacked merit.
The tribunal held that the petitioner failed to prove the allegation of over-voting, non-voting and non-compliance with the electoral act.
The tribunal also held that the petitioner failed to prove how collation of results was disrupted.
“The burden of proof lay with the petitioner and he has failed to prove the allegations. The petitioner has failed to produce two sets of results (original and fake) to prove that the outcome was falsified in favour of APC candidate.
“Hence he failed to prove that, we therefore, uphold the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).” the tribunal held.
The Judge further stated that none of the witnesses called by the petitioner testified was able to establish facts or any tendered documents that could substantiate the claims made, as many of them were party agents from the wards and State levels, saying that that was supposed to come from the polling units, thereby failing to discharge their proof.
Reacting to the tribunal judgment, Counsel to the Petitioner, Affiku Gambo, said they will make consultation before taking any further decision.
Also speaking on behalf of the State Governor, the Deputy Governor Emmanuel Akabe, commended the tribunal for the judgment, stressing that the ruling has affirmed the people’s votes count.
Ombugadu, a two-term House of Representative Member challenged the election on account of alleged unlawful declaration of Sule as winner of the poll.
The PDP candidate had also claimed that the polls did not comply with provisions of the Electoral Act 2010.
He had also alleged intimidation of voters, unlawful cancellation of votes and malpractice during the election.
Gov. Sule of APC polled 327, 229 votes to defeat Ombugadu of PDP who scored 184, 281 votes in the March 9, governorship elections.