Moses Wokili’s Petition Against Election of Senator Ogembe Lacks Merit – Tribunal

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The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting  in Abuja on Friday struck out the petition filed by the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Dr Moses Wokili challenging the election of the people’s democracy party (PDP) candidate in the February 20th Kogi Central Senatoral district rerun election Senator Ahmed Ogembe for lack of merit, and no locus standi.
In a unanimous judgement, tribunal held that the petitioner lacks locus standi to approach the tribunal to challenge the nomination of the first respondent (Senator Ogembe) who is not a member of his political party.
The tribunal also agreed with submission of the learned counsel to the respondent that the petitioner dealt a fatal blow to his petition by joining the candidate of the PPA, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi in his petition.
“The  inclusion of Nurudeen Abatemi of (PPA) in the petition filed by the petitioner is wrong in the eye of the law as he was not supposed to be joined, this action dealt a fatal blow in your petition” the court ruled.
The court also ruled that the petitioner did  not substantiate the claims that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC ought to have declared the election inconclusive because the 1st respondent did not gathered enough votes to make him the outright winner.
On the issue of non compliance with the electoral act, electoral malpractices in some of the pulling units,  the court ruled against the petitioner as he was unable to present enough evidence to substantiate his claim.
The tribunal ruled that the petitioner had no locus standi to challenge the victory of Sen. Ahmed Ogembe because the petitioner (Wokili) was not a member of PDP as at the time he filed the petition.
The Tribunal also dismissed the petition because the petition as filed, was a multiple petition, therefore the petitioner should have paid two filing fees.
The tribunal also said that the appropriate court should have been the Federal High Court.
The tribunal therefore struck out the  petition and awarded the sum of N100,000 legal cost to the first respondent, Senator Ahmed Ogembe.

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