National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal Dismisses Cases Against House of Representatives Members.
The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal convened in Yola, Adamawa State, has rendered its decisions on petitions brought against two members of the House of Representatives.
The tribunal, presided over by Justice Aloysius Okuma and Justice Nkereuuwem Obot, dismissed the petitions filed against Mohammed Salihu and Jingi Rufai, members representing Girei/Yola South/Yola North federal constituency and Maiha/Mubi North/Mubi South federal constituency, respectively.
On Monday, the tribunal concluded that the petitions lacked substantial evidence and merit, delivering judgements that favoured the incumbents. Mohammed Salihu and Jingi Rufai, both members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had faced legal challenges from Abubakar Magaji Jaafar and Abubakar Baba Zango, candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Abubakar Baba Zango had presented allegations against Mohammed Salihu, asserting that Salihu presented counterfeit primary school and birth certificates. Zango urged the tribunal to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him a certificate of return, citing his second-place finish in the election. However, Justice Nkereuuwem Obot found the petition to lack merit and ordered Zango to pay N600,000 in costs.
Similarly, Abubakar Magaji Jaafar raised concerns about Jingi Rufai’s election, alleging overvoting and questioning the validity of Rufai’s victory. Jaafar requested the tribunal to nullify INEC’s declaration of Rufai as the winner and to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the PDP candidate. Additionally, he sought to be declared the rightful winner. Justice Aloysius Okuma found the evidence insufficient and ruled in favour of Jingi Rufai, awarding N600,000 against Jaafar.
The tribunal’s rulings underscore the importance of presenting credible evidence when challenging election results. With the dismissals of these petitions, Mohammed Salihu and Jingi Rufai remain as the duly elected representatives of their constituencies, reflecting the tribunal’s commitment to upholding the integrity of electoral processes.