Champion Newspapers Limited
For a better society

Verdict: Tribunal declare former Speaker as duly elected member of Mbamngha state constituency.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Emmanuel Awari-Jalingo

The National and State House of Assembly election petition tribunal sitting in Jalingo, has declared the former speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abel Peter Diah as the winner of Mbamngha state constituency of Taraba State House of Assembly.

The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Beson Ogbu said that the petitioner, the People’s Party failed to present valid facts to back up it’s case.

Mr Diah, who represents Mbamngha state constituency in the assembly, contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

His rival Emmanuel Bongo, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had filed a suit challenging the election of Mr Diah, arguing that he was not a registered member of the APC at the time of the election.

Mr Bongo also urged the tribunal to nullify the election, claiming it was marred by irregularities and not in compliance with the Electoral Act and guidelines.

Delivering the judgement, the chairman of the tribunal, Benson Ogbu, ruled that the petitioner was not able to provide evidence to prove his case or support his claims.

On the issue of party membership, the tribunal held that membership of a political party is an internal affair.

He said, “it is the prerogative right of a political party to determine who are its members and those to contest elections under the party.”

The tribunal also said the petitioner failed to prove his claim that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the Electoral Act.

The tribunal, therefore, upheld the victory of the former speaker as declared by INEC.

Mr Ogbu, while reviewing the petition, declared that all the issues raised and the pieces of evidence tendered before the tribunal were immaterial, saying, therefore, “the petition collapsed on failure of proof.”

Festus Idepefo, counsel of the respondent, expressed satisfaction with the judgement.

Mr Bongo can still appeal the judgement of the tribunal at a court of higher jurisdiction.

Comments are closed.