National Assembly Tribunal sitting in Gombe has dismissed a petition filed against the victory of Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and reaffirmed him as the duly elected Senator representing Gombe Central Senatorial District.
Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Usman Bello Kumo, had filed a petition against the immediate past governor of the state, the APC and six others. The petition was dismissed on the grounds of incompetence and lack of merit.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Rosaline Adamu, said the petitioner had alleged that the said election was marred by substantial irregularities and non-compliance to the Electoral Acts as amended.
She said they also prayed the tribunal to rule that the first respondent, Senator Goje, was not duly elected and that the election in which he had been declared winner be nullified and a fresh one ordered.
In their judgement, the tribunal held that the petition was not filed within the stipulated 21 days after declaration of results within which such petitions are supposed to be filed.
It was also held that the petitioner failed to prove his case of harassment, non-secrecy of votes, using of dangerous weapons and intimidation among others which he claimed affected their fortunes in the election.
The tribunal said the 200 electoral documents produced as evidence and marked as exhibits would have helped the petitioners’ case, but were merely dumped on it.
“The petitioners acted in error by dumping the documents and expected the tribunal to fish out the issues raised. Apart from the poor use of documents, the petitioners could not prove their case,” Justice Adamu said.
She added that the allegations are vague, totally lacking in weight and evidence, as well as amounts to mere hearsay.
“It is not only incompetent, it lacks merit”, she said, declaring the case as null and void.
The Petitioners’ Counsel, Agebe Odeh, said they were not happy with the judgement and have serious disagreements with some of the issues raised in it.
He was ,however, happy that some of the issues on their petition were considered.
Counsel to the respondents, Barrister Kanayo Okafor, who held the brief of Chris Uche, SAN, said “it was an expected and well deserved victory because the petition was dead on arrival.’