Bauchi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunals on Monday upheld the election of Bala Mohammed of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of the state.
Delivering judgement on a petition challenging the election of Mr Mohammed, chairman of the tribunal, Justice Salihu Shuaibu, dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Mohammed Abubakar, saying the PDP candidate was duly elected with majority valid votes.
Mr Shuaibu said INEC was right both in declaring the March 9 election as inconclusive, and in declaring Mr Mohammed the winner of the re-run election that was held thereafter.
Mr shuaibu added that the petitioners failed to prove, beyond all reasonable doubts, the allegations of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act by the respondents.
“We shall not go into details in the petition; he who asserts must prove beyond all reasonable doubts,” he said.
He awarded N300,000 cost against the petitioners, saying the first, second and third respondents were to be given N100,000 each.
Three judges on the tribunal unanimously adopted the judgment.
Mr Abubakar and the APC had filed the petition against Mr Mohammed, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), challenging the governor’s victory in the March 23 supplementary election.
They were alleging widespread irregularities in 336 polling units in Tafawa Balewa, Bogoro and Bauchi Local Government Areas.
They are therefore urging the tribunal to nullify the election held in those polling units and declare Mr Abubakar as winner of the election, having scored the highest valid votes, or in the alternative, order the conduct of fresh election in the affected areas.
On the other hand, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and Mr Mohammed urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the grounds that it lacked merit.