Unlawful Exclusion: Tribunal Strikes Yakubu’s Petition

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The National Assembly Election Petitions tribunal sitting in Lokoja has thrown out a petition of unlawful exclusion of his name as the candidate of ANPP in the last senatorial election in the state filed by Alhaji Hassan Yakubu for lacking the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

In the judgment delivered by Justice Umar Sadiq yesterday in Lokoja, the three-member panel found the petitioner wanting on the three issues it raised for determination bothering on the Locus standi of the petitioner.

Other issues raised include, the matter being a pre-election one and abuse of court process for filing the petition before the tribunal while the same issue was pending in the Federal High Court, Lokoja.

According to the tribunal the evidence before it had proved beyond reasonable doubt that it was a pre-election matter on which it lacked jurisdiction adding that bringing a matter already in court to the tribunal amounted to abuse of court process.

Weekly Trust gathered that Alhaji Hassan Yakubu who claimed to have contested and won the ANPP primaries to contest the Kogi East senatorial seat petitioned the tribunal alleging that he was unlawfully excluded from the contest. In the petition which had six respondents including INEC, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC); Winner of election, Dangana Ocheja; PDP; ANPP and its candidate in the election, Atai Aidoko Ali Yakubu maintained that he was nominated as the party’s candidate.

He prayed the tribunal to, by reason of the unlawful exclusion from the April 9, election, declare the election unconstitutional, illegal, void and of no consequence and return Dangana Ocheja as the winner of the senatorial election as null and void. The petitioner also prayed the tribunal to order a fresh election in which he would contest.

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