Thursday, September 19, 2019 4:59 pm
The National and State House of Assembly Tribunal sitting in Jos on Thursday upheld the victory of Mr Ignetious Longjan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Feb. 23 polls.
Dismissing the petition of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Tribunal Chairman, Justice J.I. Nwoye, in a unanimous judgment, described the petition filed by Mr Peter Kefas of the PDP candidate, as “lacking in merit” as he could not prove his allegations against Longjan, APC and INEC.
Kefas and PDP had challenged Longjan’s victory for the Plateau South Senatorial Seat at the polls on the allegations that the election was marred with electoral irregularities and in non compliance with the electoral law.
He had pleaded with the tribunal to declare winner of the election or order for fresh election.
But the tribunal declared that Kefas and his party, PDP, couldn’t substantiate their claims before it and therefore their petition has failed woefully.
”The onus of proof lies with he who alleges, in this petition, the petitioners have woefully failed to all the allegations raised in their petition
“Consequently, this tribunal has no excuse not to dismiss the petition for lack of merit. The petition is hereby dismissed, “ Nwoye declared.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kefas had presented 40 witnesses against the respondents’8 witnesses and had also presented 155 documentary evidences to prove his case but to no avail.
Responding shortly after judgment, Mr Sunday Obende, Counsel to Longjan, commended the tribunal for painstakingly perusing all the evidences and arguments presented before it and to have delivered such a “sound” judgment.
”We wish to commend you (tribunal) for your efforts and even patience with us all through. We wish you success in all your endeavors,” Obende stated.
Mr Sunday Oyawole, Counsel to the petitioners, thanked the tribunal for it’s efforts but that “we will critically look at the judgment for our next line of action.”