Tribunal upholds PDP House of Rep member’s election in Borno

Dr. Midala Balami
Dr. Midala Balami

 

By SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –

 

The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Borno on Friday, upheld the election victory of Dr. Midala Balami, a member of the House of Representatives representing Askira-Uba/ Hawul federal constituency.

 

Dr. Balami is the only federal Lawmaker elected on the platform of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Borno state during the February 25th, 2023 general elections, while all other positions contested were won by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

 

Recall that the APC and its candidate, Mr. Tarpaya Asarya (1st and 2nd Petitioners) had earlier dragged the PDP, its candidate, Dr. Balami and the Independent National Electoral Commission as 1st, 2nd & 3rd Respondents to the tribunal, seeking nullification of the election, alleging that the result declared by the 3rd respondent in favour of the 2nd respondent is not a correct representation of the outcome of the election, since elections was not conducted in one unit and also cancelled in 10 registered and accreditation Polling Units across the two local government areas.

 

The petitioners further claimed that the result declared by the 3rd Respondent showed that the 2nd Respondent scored a majority of the votes cast with 28,203 votes, while the 2nd petitioner scored 25,383 votes and the difference in votes between them is only 2,820 votes.

 

Delivering the judgement, the three-man panel, under the Chairmanship of Justice M.E Anenih, Justice A.I. Ityonyman and Justice A.O. Adeniji held that the petition brought before the tribunal lacked merit.

 

The Tribunal also held that “the 2nd Respondent was qualified and validly sponsored to contest the election.

 

“It also held that the Petitioners did not discharge the burden satisfactorily that there was cancellation and none voting in the 11 Polling Units which the APC and its candidate, Mr. Asarya claimed has substantially affected the results declared.”

 

Specifically, the Tribunal held that the Petitioners did not prove the margin of lead principal having not led evidence on the Permanent Voters Card, PVCs collected in the alleged units.

To this end, the Petition therefore lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.

Meanwhile, our Correspondent observed that many supporters including members of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) stormed the streets in Maiduguri and the constituency (Askira-Uba/Hawul to celebrate the victory of Hon. Balami following the judgement.

 

Reacting to the judgement, Lead Counsel to Balami, Chief Titus O. Ashaolu (SAN), commended the tribunal for graciously and dispassionately delivered justice in favour of his client.

 

Other Counsels to Balami include, Tale Alabi, Esq, Gbenga A. Ashaolu, Esq, Ibrahim H. Ngada, Esq, and C. O. Richards, Esq.

 

Also responding to the judgement in a telephone call with our Correspondent, the 2nd Petitioner, Mr. Asarya said, his clients will study the outcome of the judgement before any further action.

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