Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi and George Okoh in Makurdi
The governorship election petition tribunals sitting in Bauchi and Makurdi have upheld the elections of Governors Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi State and Samuel Ortom of Benue State
Delivering the over six-hour judgment yesterday, the chairman of the three-member panel, in Bauchi, Justice Sale Musa Shu’aibu announced the dismissal of the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Mohammed Abubakar Abdullahi.
Abdullahi and the APC had filed the petition against Mohammed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) challenging the governor’s victory in the March 23 supplementary election. “The election of Bala Mohammmed is valid he was duly elected with majority votes,” he said
Shuaibu said INEC was right both in declaring the March 9 election as inconclusive and in declaring Mohammed the winner of the re-run election.
Shuaibu added that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act by the respondents beyond a reasonable doubt.
“We shall not go into details in the petition. He who asserts must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
He awarded N100,000 as a cost for the benefits of first, second and third respondents
Three judges on the tribunal unanimously adopted the judgment.
Meanwhile, Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed has described his victory as victory for the people of the state regardless of their political affiliation.
According to him, after every effort by the opponent failed to give them victory, he would establish a framework for the urgent task of restoring hope to what he described as demoralised, disenchanted and dispirited people of the state.
He dedicated his victory to the entire people of the state, and insisted that noting will distract him from his sustained pursuit of the seven-point agenda until he attains the ultimate goal of achieving the greatest good for the greatest number of all those who reside in the state.
Mohammed used the medium to appeal to all stakeholders especially his opponents at the tribunal to sheath their swords by supporting his administration for the development of the state.
In a related development, the governorship Election Petition Tribunal Sitting in Makurdi has upheld the election of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
According to the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Henry Oduseyi,who read the judgment, the petitioners – Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congress (APC) failed to prove that the 2nd respondent was not dully elected by majority of lawful votes cast.
He also said the petitioners failed to prove that the 2019 elections were conducted in non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.