Election Tribunals uphold Ortom, Mohammed as Benue, Bauchi governors

The Benue State Governorship Tribunal has upheld the re-election of Governor Samuel Ortom.

The tribunal gave the verdict on Monday after a panel dismissed the petition of the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Emmanuel Jime, for lacking in merit.

Also, the Bauchi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal upheld the election of Governor Bala Mohammed.

Delivering the six-hour judgment on Monday, the Chairman of the three-member panel, Justice Sale Shuaibu, announced the dismissal of the petition by the All Progressives Congress, (APC) and its candidate, Mohammed Abubakar.

Justice Shuaibu held that the March 9 and 23 governorship  election that brought about the emergence of Bala Mohammed  was in substantial compliance  with the provision of the Electoral  act of 2010 as amended.

He ruled that the ýpetition brought by the APC and its candidate, Mohammed Abubakar  against the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) and its candidate, Mohammed, lacks merit.

Justice Shuaibu  dismissed the petition of the APC in its entirety and awarded 100,000 to each of the three respondents  against  the petitioners. The 1st respondent  is INEC, 2nd respondent is Governor Mohammed  while the 3rd respondent is the PDP.

The tribunal also rejected statements on oath of 27 out of 33 witnesses brought by the APC and its governorship candidate Mohammed Abubakar.

The lead Judge said that the petitioners failed to prove their petition beyond reasonable doubt.

“I hereby ruled that the election of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) candidate, Senator Bala Mohammed, is valid”,  he said.

Addressing  reporters after the tribunal ruling, the lead counsel to the defendant, Chris Uche, SAN, said the judgment was a victory for democracy and the people of Bauchi State.

He advised the petitioners to accept the judgment, instead of appealing, as their case lacked merit.

Meanwhile, APC in the state, in its reaction to the judgment, said they would wait for advice from their lawyers for the next line of action.

The Secretary of the party, Usseini Bako, said they were not discouraged by the judgment. He urged APC supporters to remain calm pending their next line of action

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