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Tribunal Nullifies Former Taraba Acting Governor’s Senatorial Election

The National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jalingo has nullified the election of former acting Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi as a senator representing Taraba North senatorial district.

Danladi, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was dragged to the tribunal by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Ali Sani Kona, on the grounds that the March 28 senatorial election in the district was marred by irregularities in 54 polling units in three local government areas of Karim Lamido, Zing and Yorro.
Ali Sani, though his counsel,  Festus Idepefo, urged the tribunal to declare the election inconclusive in the 54 polling units and order a fresh election to determine the actual winner of the election.
Delivering his ruling in the matter, Justice Ibrahim Yusuf who read the judgment on behalf of the chairman of the tribunal,  Justice Samson Angor, held that the 1st and 2nd petitioners, Kona and APC respectively had given satisfactory evidence to proof their case.
The tribunal held that given the evidence before it, election in 48 out of the 54 polling units complained of by the petitioners were not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act, as there were evidence of over voting and non-accreditation of voters, yet results were declared by the 1st respondent, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The three-man panel of justices then declared the votes awarded Sani Abubakar Danladi who was the 3rd respondent in the 48 polling units null and void just as they declared the election inconclusive.
According to the tribunal, the total number of registered voters (36,428) in the 48 polling units were more the marginal difference of votes scored by Sani Abubakar Danladi and Ali Sani Kona between the 1st petitioner and therefore ordered a fresh election in the 48 polling units within 90 days to determine the actual winner of the polls while it ordered that the certificate of return issued to Danladi be set aside pending the outcome of the rerun  election.
Earlier in the day, the tribunal equally nullified the election of Dan-Asabe Charles Hosea of PDP who was declared winner in Kurmi/Gashaka/Sarduana Federal constituency election.
The APC candidate in the election, Ibrahim El-Sudi had dragged Hosea to the tribunal on the grounds that there was substantial non compliance with the electoral act in the conduct of the election.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Samson Angor ordered that fresh election be conducted in 19 polling units in the constituency on the grounds of non compliance  with the electoral act.
Relying on the evidence before the tribunal, Justice Samson Angor held that election in 19 polling units in Kurmi and Sardauna local government areas in the constituency were conducted without compliance with the provisions of the electoral act.
He also held that the marginal difference in votes between the winner and the runner up was less than the number of registered voters in the 19 polling units where elections were conducted without compliance with the electoral act.
Declaring the election inconclusive, Justice Andor ruled that the certificate of return issued to Charles Hosea be set aside by INEC and fresh election conducted in the affected areas within 90 days.