146 N’Assembly candidates petition tribunals in 12 states

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Election petition tribunals in 12 states have received no fewer than 146 petitions from National Assembly candidates who are not satisfied with the results of the just concluded elections.

The states where the petitions had been received as of Wednesday included Edo, Plateau, Ondo, Kwara, Ogun, Bayelsa, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Bauchi, Lagos and Niger.

Some aggrieved candidates had on Tuesday protested in Ogun and Nasarawa states, vowing to challenge the results of the elections in court.

However, findings by The PUNCH on Wednesday indicated that the defeated candidates had filed 25 petitions in Lagos, 11 in Ogun, and 11 in Niger while the Election Petition Tribunal in Bauchi State had received 15 petitions.

The Secretary of the Edo State tribunal, Muaza Sanusi, on Wednesday told The PUNCH that 13 petitions had been filed, adding that 10 petitions were received for the House of Representatives poll while three were for the senatorial election.

However, no petition has been received for the house of assembly election.

The Oyo State tribunal told the News Agency of Nigeria that it had received 20 petitions from aggrieved political parties and their candidates in the state.

 The tribunal secretary, Mr Ibrahim Sada, said the petitions were filed within the 21-day period allowed by law.

 Sada said of the 20 petitions, six were on the senatorial election and 14 emanated from the House of Representatives poll.

 So far, 11 candidates who lost the national assembly elections in Plateau State have submitted petitions at the tribunal secretariat located at the West of Mines area in Jos.

 A staff member of the tribunal confirmed the figure to The PUNCH on Wednesday.

 A staff member of the tribunal confirmed the figure to The PUNCH on Wednesday.

 The official said, “We have started receiving petitions from the parties and the candidates who have grievances about the just concluded election. So far, we have received about 11 petitions filed by the candidates and their parties but we hope to receive more in the coming days.”

 Gyang Zi of the Labour Party who lost out to the PDP candidate, Simon Mwadkwon for the Plateau North Senatorial seat was among the petitioners.

The tribunal has yet to fix a date for the commencement of sittings.

 The Secretary of the Governorship, National and State Houses of Assembly Tribunal in Kwara state, Aisha Fika, on his part, said that four petitions had so far been filed.

Speaking with our correspondent, she said, “Four petitions were filed before the election petitions tribunal as of today, Wednesday, in respect of the National Assembly elections. No petition has yet been received in respect of the governorship and state house of assembly election held on Saturday, March 18, 2023.’’

 She further said that details of the petitions had been pasted on the notice board of the Kwara State High Court registry.

 It indicated that Ibrahim Ajia of the Peoples Democratic Party and Mr Ope Saraki of the New Nigeria Peoples Party are challenging the election of Muktar Shagaya of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the election into the House of Representatives in Ilorin West/Asa Federal constituency of Kwara State.

 Another petition was filed by Mr Dare Bankole of the PDP who is challenging the victory of Tunji Ajuloopin of the APC who was declared winner of the House of Representatives election in Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero/Ekiti Federal constituency of Kwara State.

 A petition was also filed by Mr Kayode Ayelabegan, the Senatorial candidate of the Accord Party in Kwara Central Senatorial zone.

Meanwhile, six PDP house of assembly candidates from the four local government councils in Kwara Central senatorial district have vowed to mount a legal challenge against the election conducted in the district and reclaim their mandate.

Speaking at a press conference in Ilorin and flanked by five other colleagues, including party stalwarts on Wednesday, the PDP candidate for the Ilorin North West constituency, Isiaka Saka-Saadu, accused the APC in the state of intimidation, harassment and cheating during the election.

The other aggrieved candidates are Abdullahi Mogaji, (Owode/Onire constituency), Abubakar Wankasi, (Ilorin Central), Hassan Alaya, (Ilorin South), Isiaka Labaika, (Afon) and Mohammed Maigidansanma, (Ilorin East).

The candidates, who appealed to their supporters for calm, said they were understudying the results of the election from each polling unit and ward.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Saka-Saadu stated, “We, the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party from Kwara Central Senatorial District with a deep sense of humility want to acknowledge the commitment and support enjoyed from our teeming youths and stakeholders during the recently concluded governorship and State Assembly elections in Kwara State.

“Your resilience and resistance to intimidation, harassment and shenanigans put up by the ruling party were indeed notable and well appreciated.

“Therefore, we are appealing for calmness with all assurances to forge ahead in getting our mandate Insha Allah, being in the process of understudying the outcome of results from each polling unit across wards and various constituents accordingly.

“Our determination to genuinely get our mandate as laid down by the electoral guidelines is our priority at the moment. We will not be silenced to watch our mandate stolen overnight because the will of the people must prevail.’’

  The Lagos State Elections Tribunal confirmed that it had received 25 petitions from various political parties in the state over the just concluded governorship and state assembly election.

The petitioners include a popular artist, Olubankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W and his party, the PDP; Ibrahim Obanikoro, the son of a former minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro and the All Progressives Congress, among others.

The respondents in Banky W’s petition are the Independent National Electoral Commission, Thaddeus Attah and Labour Party.

In his petition, the artist contended that Attah was not validly elected as the member-elect for the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency of Lagos State because, at the time of the election, he was not qualified to contest the poll.

In his petition, Obanikoro claimed the results from 10 wards within Eti-Osa Federal Constituency were not reconciled before the returning officer hurriedly announced the result and wrongly declared Attah the winner.

The LP candidates in seven federal constituencies in Lagos are also challenging the results declared by INEC.

The petitioners are contesting the outcome of the polls in Oshodi- Isolo, Kosofe, Lagos Mainland, Surulere, Shomolu, Mushin and Ikorodu.

They alleged that INEC unlawfully excluded them from the February 25 presidential and national assembly election.

In the petition filed by Adeola Adebanjo and the Labour Party against the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the petitioners alleged that INEC failed to comply with the provisions of the law.

Gbajabiamila had been declared the winner of the Surulere I Federal Constituency for the sixth time.

For Ikeja federal constituency, Mutiu Okunola and the Labour Party are challenging the declaration of James Faleke as the member-elect on the grounds that “the election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act and mutilation of all election material in the majority of all the polling units in Ikeja federal constituency.’’

The petitioners hinged their argument on the failure of INEC to compute the result and transmit it through the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System in line with the Electoral Act 2022 and other election guidelines.

The Secretary of the tribunal in Bauchi, Ibrahim Kala, disclosed on Wednesday that five of the 15 petitions received by the court were in respect of the senatorial election while the remaining 10 were on the House of Representatives polls.

He said that the petitions were received by the tribunal between March 16 and 21.

Kala said, ‘’The registry of the Election Tribunal in Bauchi State between 16th and 19th March 2023, received 15 petitions: Five for the senatorial election while the remaining are for the House of Representatives (election).’’

According to him, a petition was submitted by Ibrahim Tanko and the APC against the INEC, Dr Samaila Dahuwa and the Peoples Democratic Party.

The case with number: EPT/BA/SEN/01/2023 was in respect of the Bauchi Northern Senatorial District election.

Also, Ahmed Nana and the APC filed a case with the number, EPT/BA/SEN/02/2023 against Abdul Ningi, INEC and PDP over the outcome of the Bauchi Central Senatorial District polls.

The tribunal also received a petition involving Ibrahim Baba and the Social Democratic Party against Dahuwa, INEC and the PDP challenging the result of the Bauchi Northern Senatorial District election.

The tribunal secretary further disclosed that the court had also received petitions from Garba Dahiru of the PDP, Mijinyawa Mohammed and the New Nigeria Peoples Party, among other petitioners.

The Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, said it had so far received nine petitions.

Disclosing this on Wednesday, the tribunal secretary, Musa Adams, stated, “ We have so far received nine petitions on the national assembly elections. We received two petitions on the senatorial election and seven on the House of Representatives election.”

Adams also stated that the tribunal would begin sitting as soon as the process of servicing was concluded.

 Aggrieved candidates have filed no fewer than 11 petitions in Ogun State.

A tribunal official, who declined to disclose his name, said 11 petitions from Senate and House of Representatives candidates were submitted.

 In Bayelsa State, a total of nine petitions had been submitted as of Wednesday.

Of the nine petitions, four were for the Senate while five were for House of Representatives polls.

The PUNCH learnt that the tribunal in Osun State had received 14 petitions. The petitions are challenging the victory of the PDP candidates who won the three senatorial seats and nine House of Representatives seats in the February 25 elections.

 Speaking with The PUNCH at the tribunal secretariat located on the premises of Osun State High Court, Osogbo, the secretary of the panel, Mohammed Magaji, said all three senatorial petitions were filed by the Action Alliance against the three PDP senators-elect.

 Magaji said the AA was also challenging all the nine Reps seats won by the PDP, while the APC was questioning the victory of a member-elect.

He also said the NNPP was challenging the result of one House of Representatives seat.

 Magaji, however, said there was no petition yet on the March 18 House of Assembly elections, adding, “sitting of the panel will commence immediately all petitions are in and other processes completed.”

 No fewer than 11 petitions have been filed at the Niger State Election Petitions Tribunal.

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