By Garry Ochigbo
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has affirmed Audu Mohammed Lauya of the People’s Democratic Party PDP as a member of the House of Representatives for Karim-Lamido, Lau, Ardo-Kola Federal Constituency.
Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam who led the three member panel of justices held that, the appeal by Kabiru Bello of the All Progressives Congress, APC was frivolous and lacking in merit.
The court held that the witnesses that testified at the Tribunal were different from the ones that made statement on the oath that was attached to the petition.
Justice Onyemenam held that the Tribunal was right to have expunged the evidence of the witnesses.
It said that, expunging of evidence of the witnesses was a milestone in the determination of the appeal since a Petitioner who is challenging the results of an election must produce both oral and documentary evidence.
More so, the Appellate court held that, the appellant (Kabiru) did not prove his allegation of disenfranchisement in five polling units in the constituency as the statements of the witnesses were invalid.
It further held that, evidence of the appellant was not sufficient to prove that, over voting took place in fourteen polling units in the constituency.
Consequently, the Appellate court affirmed the judgment of the Taraba State Election Petition Tribunal in Jalingo which upheld Audu Mohammed as the dully elected member of the House of Representatives for Karim-Lamido Lau Ardo-Kola Federal Constituency.
Audu Mohammed of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP was declared winner of the Federal Constituency by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in the February 25 elections.
Dissatisfied with the declaration, Kabiru Bello of the All Progressives Congress, APC instituted the matter at the Tribunal which upheld Audu’s Victory.
Speaking to journalists after the judgment, counsel to Audu, Emeka Okoro, described the judgement as a true reflection of the will of the constituents within the ambit of law.
Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze