National and State Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal in Abuja has dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Mohammed Umar Bolori, challenging the election of Senator Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai, whose party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, won a bi-election in October 2015 to fill the vacant senate seat in Borno State Central.
The bi-election followed the death of Senator Ahmed Zannah, who was reelected in April 2015 but died before the 8th Assembly was inaugurated.
Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Mr. Garbai as winner with 120,639 votes over his main challenger, Mr. Bolori of the PDP, who scored 32,346 votes.
Mr. Bolori, however, challenged the election at the tribunal in Abuja, alleging that underage voting, over-voting and “thuggery” compromised the election. Mr. Bolori brought in a forensic expert to examine materials used during the elections in order to argue his case.
After days of counter-arguments between counsels to Mr. Bolori, A.O. Ajana and Yusuf Ali (SAN), who defended Mr. Garbai, the three-member panel of the tribunal in a unanimous judgment delivered in seven hours by the tribunal’s chairman, Justice M.A. Adegbara, dismissed the petition for lack of merit and accordingly ruled Mr. Garbai as the duly elected senator representing Borno State Central.

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