Saturday, March 12, 2016 6:52 am
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Kogi has dismissed of the petition filed against the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by Mr Akwu Goodman.
Goodman was the governorship candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance in the Nov.21, 2015 election in Kogi.
The APGA candidate is challenging the election of Gov. Yahaya Bello, while APC, and INEC were joined as 2nd and 3rd respondents
At the resumed sitting on Friday, Justice Halima Muhammad, the Chairman of the Tribunal, dismissed the petition against APC and INEC saying APGA did not follow the due process of the law.
Justice Muhammad said the petitioner failed to comply with the provisions of Section 18(4) as well as Section 18 (1) of the 1st schedule of the 2010 Electoral Act
Section 18 (1)A of the of the 1st schedule of the 2010 Electoral Act provides that “the petitioner shall apply for pre-hearing papers within seven days of the respondent’s response reply.
Also, Section 18(4) stipulates that “Where the petitioner and respondent fail to bring an application under the said paragraph, the tribunal or court shall demiss the petition as abandoned petition”.
The Chairman submitted that the petitioner did follow the due process as stipulated by the law.
Muhammad said that the petitioner ought to have notified both parties, the APC and INEC, by also serving each of them the pre-hearing papers and not only the tribunal.
INEC Counsel Chikezie Ekeocha had earlier urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for not playing by the rules.
Ekeocha also informed the tribunal that he had filed a motion predicated on five grounds and written addresses on why the APGA petition must be dismissed.
Counsel to APC, Mr Muiz Banire (SAN) and Mr Abdullahi Aliyu (SAN) also aligned themselves with the prayers of INEC.
Mr Promise Ogbadu, Counsel to the candidate of APGA, also filed a counter affidavit and written addresses on why the petition must remain.
Following the ruling, Gov Bello remains the only respondent in the petition.