A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Bauchi - The Bauchi State Election Petitions Tribunal on Wednesday said that it had received two petitions from aggrieved candidates on the outcome of the House of Representatives polls conducted on March 28.
The Secretary to the tribunal, Malam Ibrahim Garba, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) in Bauchi.
He said that the petitions were from Bauchi Central and Alkaleri/Kirfi Federal Constituencies.
Garba said that the tribunal was waiting for responses from the respondents to enable it commence its sittings.
He said that Alhaji Aminu Dan-Maliki (PDP-Bauchi Central) filed the first petition where he challenged the declaration of Alhaji Shehu Garba (APC) as the winner of the election declared by INEC.
Dan-Maliki, in the petition, said that the return of Garba by the electoral body as the elected member that would be representing the constituency in the House of Representatives was invalid.
He alleged that as at the time of the polls, Garba was not a validly sponsored candidate by his party.
The petitioner said that on January 13, INEC published the final list of candidates for the polls in which it cleared Jamilu Adamu (AD), Alhaji Shehu Aliyu (APC) and Aminu Dan-Maliki (PDP) for the polls.
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Dan-Maliki wondered how Shehu Garba’s name appeared as the candidate of the party while INEC had closed withdrawal and substitution of candidates’ names on Dec. 30, 2015.
The petitioner urged the tribunal to declare Garba who scored 149,744 votes as not eligible but it should declare him (Dan-Maliki), who scored 12,764 votes, as the eligible candidate and the winner of the polls.
Similarly, Alhaji Abdulkadir Mohammed (PDP) in his petition to the tribunal challenged the return of Dr Sani Abdu (APC) by INEC as the winner that would be representing Alkaleri/Kirfi Constituency in the lower house.
Mohammed, the immediate past Chief of Staff to Gov. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, said that Abdu, who scored 60,565 votes, was not sponsored by the APC.
He said that the APC failed to organise its primary which it scheduled for December 12, 2015, where it would have elected its candidates for the national and state assemblies’ elections.
The petitioner said that as at March 28, he, Mohammed, was the only validly nominated candidate from his constituency for any elective post.
Mohammed, therefore, urged the tribunal to declare him, who scored 14,900 votes during the polls, as the winner of the election.