The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital yesterday affirmed the 11th April, 2015 election of state Governor, Simon Lalong of the All Progressives Party, APC.
In his ruling, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Johnson Candide, which lasted for four and half hours, dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate in the election, Gyang Pwajok, for what he described as lack of credible evidence to prove his petition.
‎The chairman of the tribunal said the petitioner failed to prove his case that the election that produced Lalong was characterised by electoral malpractices that could warrant the dismissal of the election.
The tribunal held that the petitioner and PDP abandoned their criminal case and concentrated on civil matters and couldn’t therefore prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.
It also held that all the petitions presented by the petitioner were documented hearsay.
The petitioner was ordered to pay the sum of N5, 000 fine to each of the three respondents.
Speaking to newsmen at the premises of the court after the governor’s victory, APC chairman in the state, Latep Dabang, described the party’s victory as a victory for the people of the state.
He said the rescue government would continue to provide the dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
Also, in Delta State, the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, the state capital yesterday upheld the election of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the duly elected governor of the state in the April 11, 2015 governorship elections.
In its judgment, the three- man panel headed by Justice Nasiru Gunmi, dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its candidate, Chief O’tega Emehor, challenging the declaration of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of PDP as the winner of the governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and awarded a cost of N50,000 each.
The tribunal noted that Emerhor’s petition was bound to fail ab initio and accordingly dismissed it.
The reading of the ruling on the APC petition yesterday began about 1: 07 pm and lasted till about 3:06pm when Justice Gunmi gave his final pronouncement on the case.
Gunmi said that the petitioner was not able to establish that there was over voting, saying that the petitioners having not proved the toxic votes is resolved in favour of the respondents and against the petitioners.
“The election of Senator Okowa is therefore upheld amidst APC petition with a cost of N50, 000 each”, the tribunal held.
Meanwhile, Dr Okowa has invited Ogboru and Emerhor to join hands with him to build a better Delta State.
The Labour Party candidate in the election, Great Ogboru has been a consistent contender to the governorship of Delta state.
The governor said that the two petitioners lost nothing as they were all brothers from the same Delta state who are welcome to join his government any day.
In Gombe, the petition filed against Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo’s victory at the April 11, 2015 polls by Jafar Abubakar of African Democratic Congress, ADC, suffered defeat in the hands of the Governorship Petition Tribunal sitting in Gombe, the state capital.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice A.A. Nwobodo, dismissed the petition for lack of merit and inability to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
“On whichever way one decides to look at it, this petition is bound to fail and has indeed failed. We hereby dismiss the case for lack of merit,” he said.
The petitioner challenged Dankwambo’s victory on the grounds that he was not truly elected by the majority lawful votes and non-compliance to Electoral Act, as amended.
He had among others pleaded that the certificate of return given to Governor Dankwambo by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC be declared null and void and of no effect.
Justice Nwobodo said allegations of alteration, non-authentication and mutilation of figures on form EC8A which are criminal in nature needed adequate proof which the petitioner could not convince the tribunal on.
He said the tribunal also laid to rest other allegations raised in the petition and evidences produced before it, ruling them either as hearsays or documentary hearsays.

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