Elec­tion tri­bunal up­holds Saraki’s vic­tory

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Romoke W. Ah­mad, Ilorin

The elec­tion pe­ti­tion tri­bunal sit­ting in Ilorin, the Kwara State cap­i­tal yesterday af­firmed the March 28, 2015 elec­tion of Sen­a­tor Bukola Saraki of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) as the law­maker rep­re­sent­ing Kwara Cen­tral Sen­a­to­rial Dis­trict.

While de­liv­er­ing his rul­ing, the chair­man of the tri­bunal, Jus­tice Josiah Ma­jebi, in a twohour judg­ment, dis­missed the pe­ti­tion filed by the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) can­di­date in the elec­tion, Al­haji Ab­dul­rah­man Ab­dul­rasaq, for lack of merit, com­pe­tence and sub­stance.

The chair­man said the pe­ti­tioner failed to prove his case that the elec­tion that pro­duced Sen­a­tor Saraki was char­ac­terised by elec­toral mal­prac­tices that could war­rant the dis­missal of the elec­tion.

“In ac­cor­dance with the Elec­toral Act, any pe­ti­tion to elec­tion pe­ti­tion tri­bunal must be filed within the 21 days. But the pe­ti­tioner failed to file his pe­ti­tion within the spec­i­fied pe­riod of the time. In­stead, it was filed out­side the sched­uled time. Thus, it lacked merit that can war­rant the can­cel­la­tion of the elec­tion,” Jus­tice Ma­jebi said.

In his re­ac­tion, the lead coun­sel to Sen­a­tor Saraki, Mr. Ke­hinde Eleja (SAN) lauded the ver­dict, say­ing “it was an ex­cel­lent rul­ing.”

Also speak­ing, the lead coun­sel to the pe­ti­tioner, Mr. John Oshi­a­gala, said they would study the rul­ing care­fully.

Mr Oshi­a­gala, who added that they had done their best, stated that “God gives power to those He pleases.”

Mean­while, the state chap­ter of the APC in its re­ac­tion to the rul­ing com­mended the judg­ment.

In a state­ment is­sued af­ter the judg­ment by its pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary, Al­haji Su­ly­man Buhari, the party said the judg­ment was an af­fir­ma­tion of the man­date freely en­trusted with the Se­nate pres­i­dent by the good peo­ple of Kwara Cen­tral sen­a­to­rial dis­trict.

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