Kontagora 2: Tribunal dismisses petition by PDP candidate
The National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Minna, Niger State, on Monday upheld the election of Isah Abdullahi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Isah Abdullahi, who contested the April 18 Niger State House of Assembly election in the Kontagora two state constituency, was challenged by Mohammed Nasir of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the ground that he was not qualified to contest the election.
The petitioner approached the tribunal alleging that the defendant did not possess the requisite qualification to contest the state house of assembly election to represent the Kontagora two state constituency in the election conducted on April 18, 2023.
He alleged that, apart from not having the requisite qualifications, the election was characterised by irregularities, over-voting, and other malpractices, and therefore requested that the tribunal nullify the election.
Three witnesses and subpoenaed witnesses testified before the tribunal, which included the Electoral Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The respondent counsel, Barrister Ibrahim Isah Atabo, did not call any witness, as he told the tribunal during the trial and the adoption of the final written addresses that he relied on the subpoenaed witnesses of the petitioner to close his case.
In the over two-hour judgement delivered by Justice Mojisola Ishaq Sule, of the three-member panel, she submitted that the petitioner failed in entirety to prove all the allegations raised in his petition, and it was dismissed without any course.
Fielding questions from journalists shortly after the judgement, Barrister Ibrahim Isah Atabo commended the tribunal for their courage in delivering the judgement, describing it as eloquent.
He stated that the petitioner has no reason to approach the tribunal with the "unsubstantiated allegations against the respondent in the first place, because there is no basis for filing the petition.
"That was the reason we refused to call any witness to testify, and we relied on his own witnesses".
He called on politicians to always accept the outcome of the election results; this, he noted, will go a long way towards nurturing our democracy.
In his own remarks, the respondent, Hon. Isah Abdullahi, requested the petitioner to join hands with him to move Kontagora two constituency forward.
He appreciated the tribunal for allowing justice to prevail, stressing that the judiciary will always remain the last hope of the common man.