by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
JOS – The Election Tribunal of the National Assembly sitting in Jos, Plateau State capital, has affirmed the victory of Senator Nora Daduut of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party as duly elected Senator of the December 2020 Plateau South Senatorial District bye-elections.
Delivered the judgment on Monday at the Dadi Kowa Youth Center, Jos, the 3-man penal of the tribunal led by Justice D.A. Akhobe, disclosed that the petition filed by George Daika of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election of Daduut “lacked merit and is hereby dismissed.”
The former member of the National Assembly and the former Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon George Daika, had approached the court challenging the declaration of Senator Nora Daduut by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the Plateau South Senatorial District bye-elections of 5th December, 2020, following the death of late Sen. Ignatius Longjang.
According to the tribunal, some of the issues the petitioner raised includes: election malpractice (over voting), violation of Electoral Act (under-age voting) and non-qualification of the candidacy of Senator Daduut.
It also recalled that, INEC had earlier declared that Senator Daduut pulled 83,151 votes cast, while Hon. Daika secured 70,838 votes and, therefore, Daduut returned elected, having scored the highest number of votes cast and leading with about a 12,313 margin.
The Presiding Judge noted that, “The law is certain as the pronouncement by INEC stands, and the second respondent, Senator Daduut, won with the majority lawful votes cast.”
Chairman of the tribunal explained that, “The petitioners achieved nothing in the testimonies of all the 15 witnesses, as none of them presented cogent evidence to back their claims.”
Speaking shortly after the judgment, Senator Daduut said, she dedicated the victory to God and entire people of Plateau South Senatorial District, and called on her opponent, George Daika, to come and join hands together and work to turn the fortune of Southern zone.
While speaking to our correspondent on the judgment, Hon. George Daika, through telephone call said, the tribunal blocked them as they were not given the opportunity to present all their witnesses, even the subpoena witness.
According to him, there was lack confidence on the judiciary. As such, it would be difficult for him to challenge the judgment at the Appellant Court.