The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, yesterday, has upheld the election of Senator Patrick Abba Moro, the Senator representing Benue South senatorial district.
The tribunal also upheld the election of a member of the House of Representative, Asema Achado of the Gwer seat. The tribunal dismissed the petition filed by the defeated senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Benue South, Comrade Daniel Onje, challenging the victory of Moro of the PDP.
Justice Ory Zik-Ikeoeha, who delivered the judgement on behalf of two other Justices, held that the petitioner had failed to prove allegations of irregularities he listed in his prayers.According to her, Onje also failed to prove allegations of non-qualification of Moro to contest the senatorial election, saying Moro had won by a majority of valid votes cast at the polls.
The Legal Adviser of the PDP in the state, Clement Mue, described the judgement as sound, noting that Moro won at the polls and was confirmed by the tribunal.However, the lead counsel for Comrade Onje, Adetunji Osho, rejected the decision of the tribunal, saying he would sit with his client to review it to know the next line of action.
In the case of Achado, the tribunal said the petitioner Hon Emmanuel Uka failed to provide any shred of cogent and compelling evidence to ground the alleged offences against Achado.The said, “Section 65 of the Nigerian Constitution provides for the nature of the certificate required for contesting election into the National Assembly and that, Form EC9 relied upon by the Petitioner Hon. Emmanuel Ukaa in evidence was misconstrued as a certificate,”
The Tribunal further held that, “The second Respondent, Asema Achado’s evidence and academic certificates tendered were not challenged by the petitioner, Hon. Emmanuel Ukaa, whose evidence was porous, contradictory, battered under cross-examination, lacked iota of substance and grossly fell short of establishing any single element required by law to prove allegations of forgery in an election petition.”The tribunal, therefore, struck it out.