Tribunal upholds Potiskum/Nangere Reps member’s election

A Gavel used to illustrate the story
A Gavel used to illustrate the story

The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal for Yobe sitting in Abuja on Saturday upheld the election of Ibrahim-Umar Potiskum, as member representing Potiskum/Nangere Federal Constituency.

Delivering judgment, Justice U.S. Sakwa, a member of the three-man tribunal, dismissed the petition filed by Sabo Garba of the Peoples Democratic Party, for lacking in merit.

The petitioner had challenged the return of Mr Potiskum on the grounds that he did not score the highest number of lawful votes cast during the February 23 House of Representatives election held in the constituency.

The petitioner stated in one of the allegations that Mr Potiskum had at one time been convicted by a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Damaturu in case No. YBS/CMC1/DT/105C/2016.

The petitioner also alleged that Mr Potiskum was also convicted on March 3, 1986, by an Upper Area Court 1, Potiskum, for adultery and prayed the tribunal to declare him unfit to be elected.

Mr Sabo alleged that Mr Potiskum has a history of insanity and has been declared as a person of unsound mind, having been a patient at the Borno Psychiatric Hospital with patient No. 0268/05.

But Justice Sakwa held that there was no document before the tribunal to back up some of the allegations raised by the petitioner.

“The petitioner has failed to give particulars that the respondent is a man of unsound mind.

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”Besides, an allegation of unsound mind is not a crime.

“There is also no document before this tribunal that the first respondent is still suffering from such illness. This is hereby resolved in favour of the respondent.

“On the issue that the respondent was not duly elected, the tribunal also resolved this in his favour because the petitioner did not adduce document to that effect.

“The allegation of false declaration of age by the respondent was also discountenanced by the tribunal,’’ the judge said.

The tribunal, however, ruled against the respondent on the issue where he challenged its jurisdiction to hear the petition, saying that he misconceived the provisions of the law.

Speaking after the judgment, Mr Potiskum dedicated his victory to the people of Yobe.

The tribunal had equally adjourned until July 31 for the adoption of written addresses in the petition filed by Mohammed Hassan, a PDP senatorial candidate, challenging the return of Ibrahim Bomoi of the APC for Yobe South Senatorial District.

Mr Hassan filed the petition on the ground that the February 23 election that produced Mr Bomoi was full of irregularities and that he did not score the highest number of the lawful votes cast during the election.

Mr Hassan had prayed the tribunal to declare him the winner of the election.

The tribunal also adjourned till July 31 for the adoption of written addresses in the petition filed by Isa-Suleiman Aminu of the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN).

Mr Aminu is challenging the return of Zakariyau Galadima of the APC as member of House of Representative for Bade/Jakusko Federal Constituency in Yobe.

Mr Aminu is praying the Tribunal to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the February 23 election and order for a fresh one.

He alleged that the logo of his party was omitted from the ballot paper used for that election and, therefore, Mr Galadima did not win the election. (NAN)

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