Tribunal upholds election of Ibrahim-Umar Potiskum




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By Aderogba George

The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal for Yobe sitting in Abuja on Saturday upheld the election of Mr Ibrahim-Umar Potiskum, as member representing Potiskum/Nangere Federal Constituency.

Delivering judgment, Justice U.S. Sakwa, a member of the three-man tribunal, dismissed the petition filed by Alhaji Sabo Garba of the PDP, for lacking in merit.

The petitioner had challenged the return of Potiskum on the grounds that he did not score the highest number of lawful votes cast during the Feb. 23 House of Representatives election held in the constituency.

He also alleged that Potiskum had at been convicted for a criminal offence by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The petitioner clearly stated in one of the allegations that Potiskum had at one time been convicted by a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Damaturu in case No. YBS/CMC1/DT/105C/2016.

The petitioner also alleged that, Potiskum was also convicted on March 3, 1986 by an Upper Area Court 1, Potiskum, for Adultery and prayed the tribunal to declare him unfit to be elected.

Sabo alleged that Potiskum has history of insanity and has been declared as a person of unsound mind, having being a patient at the Borno Psychiatric Hospital with patient No. 0268/05.

But Justice Sakwa held that there was no document before the tribunal to back up some of these allegation raised by the petitioner.

“The petitioner has failed to give particulars that the respondent is a man of unsound mind.

”Besides, an allegation of unsound mind is not a crime.

“There is also no document before this tribunal that the first respondent is  still suffering from such illness. This is hereby resolved in favour of the respondent.

“On the issue that the respondent was not duly elected, the tribunal also resolved this in his favour because the petitioner did not adduce document to that effect.

“The allegation of false declaration of age by the respondent was also discountenanced by the tribunal,’’ the Judge said.

The tribunal however ruled against the respondent on the issue where he challenged its jurisdiction to hear the petition, saying that he misconceived the provisions  of the law.

Speaking after the judgment, Potiskum dedicated his victory the to the people of Yobe.

The tribunal had equally adjourned until July 31 for adoption of written addresses in the petition filed by Sen. Mohammed Hassan of the PDP challenging the return of Sen. Ibrahim Bomoi of the APC for Yobe South Senatorial District.

Hassan filed the petition on the ground that the Feb. 23 election that produced Bomoi was full of irregularities and that he did not score the highest number of the lawful votes cast during the election.

Hassan had prayed the tribunal to declare him winner of the election.

The tribunal also adjourned till July 31 for adoption of written addresses in the petition filed by Mr Isa-Suleiman Aminu of the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN).

Aminu is challenging the return of Mr Zakariyau Galadima of the APC as member of House of Representative for Bade/Jakusko Federal Constituency in Yobe.

Aminu is praying the Tribunal to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the Feb.23 election and order for a fresh one.

Aminu alleged that the logo of his party was omitted from the ballot paper used for that election and that by the virtue of this; Galadima did not win the election. (NAN)

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