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Tribunal upholds Ihedioha, Masari elections

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The Imo State Election Petition Tribunal, yesterday, dismissed three petitions filed against the election of Emeka Ihedioha as governor of the state.

The Justice Malami Dogondaji led three-man tribunal in a unanimous decision dismissed the petitions filed by candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ifeanyi Arurume, the Action Alliance (AA), Uche Nwosu, and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Hope Uzodinma for incompetence and for lacking in merit.

The petitioners had asked the tribunal to cancel the election on the grounds that the declared winner did not meet the mandatory 25 percent in two-third of the local councils.

But in a judgment that lasted about 10 hours, the chairman of the panel, Justice Dogondaji, held that the petitioners were not able to prove the allegations made in their petitions.

The Katsina State governorship tribunal, which sat in Abuja, also dismissed the petition brought by the People’s Democratic Party and its candidate, Senator Yakubu Lado. The petition, which was challenging the election of Governor Aminu Masari was dismissed for lacking in merit.

In a split decision of two to one judge, the tribunal held that the petitioner has failed to prove the allegation of substantial non-compliance to the Electoral Act in the conduct of the election.

But the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Hadiza Alijos, in a dissenting judgment, upheld the petition and ordered that a fresh election be conducted in the state within 90 days.

The chairman was absent, but her dissenting judgment was delivered by Justice A. B Omotoso, a member of the panel. She held that Masari was not qualified to contest the election because the name, Aminu Masari is different from Aminu Bello Masari.


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