Tribunal upholds Benue Rep. Achado’s victory
The National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi, has upheld the victory of Rep. Asema Achado, of All Progressives Congress (APC), in the Feb. 25, Gwer East/Gwer West Federal Constituency election.
Delivering the judgment on Saturday, Chairman of the panel, Justice Amina Adamu, said the petitioners, Emmanuel Ukaa and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), failed to prove their case.
Adamu said the petitioners also failed to provide any shred of cogent and compelling evidence to support the alleged offences against the second respondent, Achado.
According to the judge, Section 65 of the Nigerian Constitution provides for the nature of the certificate required for contesting election into the National Assembly election, and Form EC9 relied upon by the petitioner in evidence, is not a certificate.
Amina further held that Achado’s evidence and the academic certificates he tendered were not challenged by the petitioners, whose evidence was porous and contradictory.
She said the petitioners failed to provide any single element required by law to prove allegations of forgery in an election petition.
“The documents tendered by the respondent showed that though his names were arranged differently, the credentials belong to him.
The petitioners have also failed to list the names of schools the respondent attended, and the certificates he allegedly forged. How did the petitioners know that Achado’s certificate is forged, when they did not present any certificates?”
The tribunal held that the petitioners ought to have proven their case by submitting relevant documents to support that, not based on the information contained on form EC9.
The tribunal, consequently struck out the petition for lacking in merit, unsubstantiated in law, vague and baseless, and therefore, affirmed the victory of Achado.
The court accordingly awarded the cost of N25,000 against the petitioners in favour of each of the three respondents, INEC, Achado, and the APC.
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