From WILSON BAKO, Lafia
The National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia has ordered for rerun election across seven Electoral Wards of Lafia/Obi Federal Constituency over illegal cancellation of results.
Chairman of Panel two of the Tribunal, Justice Weli Chechey, gave the order while delivering judgment on the petition filed by Haruna Kigbu, candidate of Peoples Democratic (PDP) in the February 23 general election challenging the victory of Dahiru Abubakar (APC).
According to Justice Chechey, the cancellation of the results in 24Polling Units of Agyaragu Tofa Electoral Ward of Lafia Local Government Area (LGA) by the LGA Collation Officer was illegal.
He also declared that the cancellation of results by the same collation officer in some units of Tudun Adabu electoral ward of Obi and Shabu/Gwandere, Ashigye, Keffi Wambai, Makama and Arikya electoral wards of Lafia were illegal.
The Chairman explained that the Independent Electoral Commission
(INEC) has failed to prove that the cancellation emanated from any written complaint by the Presiding Officers of the affected units as required by law.
“The LGA Collation Officer do not have the right to cancel any result, more so that there was no written complaint from the Presiding Officers of the affected areas,” the Chairman added.
He noted that the evidence before the tribunal has shown the election of February 23 was free of any rancour therefore it was wrong to cancel results from a free, fear and credible election.
He said that cancellation was arbitrary, unauthorized and illegal and we declared it as such and directed INEC to conduct rerun in the affected polling units.
It would be recalled that INEC in February, declared Dahiru of the APC winner after polling 61,992 votes as against the PDP candidate who scored 52,392 votes.