Wednesday, September 30, 2015 8:47 pm
*Senator Marafa to vacate seat for APC’s Yusuf Abubakar
The National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Taraba, on Wednesday nullified the election of Sen. Bashir Marafa (PDP-Taraba Central).
The tribunal held that the election of Marafa could not stand, because he did not score the lawful majority votes in the March 28 election.
Justice Suleiman Yusuf, one of the tribunal’s members, read the three-hour judgment.
The tribunal said the petitioners in case, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Alhaji Yusuf Abubakar, had proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.
It ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should return Abubakar as the candidate that scored the majority lawful votes during the polls.
It said that the petitioners, whose main complaint was non-inclusion of results in 16 polling units in Kaigamma Ward in Bali Local Government Area in the overall result, had substantially proved their case.
The tribunal said that the swapping of the results of Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate with the ones of the PDP’s candidates in Takalafiya Ward was also substantially proven.
According to it, the alleged cancellation of results at collation centres, after the presiding officer had announced same results at the polling units, contravened the Electoral Law.
It said that non-inclusion of the results of 16 polling units where elections were credibly conducted and announced was also against the law.
The tribunal held that after re-collation of the results, the APC candidate scored 66,097 votes, Bashir Marafa of PDP, scored 64,356 votes.
The tribunal, therefore, directed INEC to issue the Certificate of Return to the APC candidate as the duly elected candidate who scored the lawful majority votes at the election.