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INEC Urges Tribunal To Dismiss NNPP’s Petition Challenging Gov Kefas’s Victory

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Taraba State to dismiss the petion filed by Professor Sani Yahaya and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) challenging the declaration of Dr Kefas Agbu of the PDP as the duly elected Governor in the March 18 governorship election in the state.

 

INEC said that the petition of the NNPP was not well founded and did not provide enough evidence to prove any irregularities during the election.

 

Counsel to INEC Emeka Okoro said who made the position during the final adoption of written addresses said that "Lawyers to the various parties adopted their written addresses and adumbrated as to why, on the part of the respondents, the petition should be dismissed and the petitioners have adopted and adumbrated as to why the petition should succeed.

 

"And the position of INEC is that the petitioners did not do enough to challenge the presumption of irregularity that the petition enjoys. In addition, the petitioners substantially abandoned their petition, like what they are asking the tribunal to grant, is the alternative reliefs. In other words, they have expressly abandoned the main reliefs they are claiming. That one on its own shows that the petition is not well founded".

  

In his submission, Lead Counsel to Agbu Kefas, Kanu Agabi SAN said the petition challenging the election of Agbu Kefas as Governor of Taraba State should be dismissed, since the petition was not supported by valid witnesses and facts that are authentic.


Counsel to the petitioner, Ibrahim Isiaka stated that they relied on non accreditation of voters, improper accreditation and alteration of form EC8A as grounds for their petition.

 

He added that evidence from BVAS showed that the number of accredited voters were far less than vote cast for the PDP, and so INEC ought not to have declared the governorship result in Taraba State since there were cases of shooting between the army and the police around the INEC office in Jalingo.

 

The tribunal is to fix date for the judgement and communicate the parties involved on a later date.

 

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