The Borno State National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions tribunal sitting in Abuja on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party challenging the victory of Dr. Haruna Mshelia of the All Progressives Congress.
The PDP and its candidate, Emmanuel Bassi, are challenging the victory of Mshelia.
Joined in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission, APC, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Borno State and the Returning Officer of INEC for Askira/Uba/Hawul Federal Constituency.
The petition, filed on March 15, had the number: EPT/BO/HR/2/2019.
Ruling in the motion to dismiss the petition, filed by INEC, APC and Mshelia, a member of the tribunal, Justice Anthonia Ubaka, on behalf of the Chairman, Justice Peter Kekemeke, held that the petitioners failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Ubaka, held: “There must be strict compliance to section 18 of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.”
She said the petitioners filed out of time, thereby flouting the seven days time given by the law for filing of pre-hearing letter.
She held: “The petitioners filed after the expiration of the seven days stipulated by the Electoral Act.
“The implication is that the petition is deemed abandoned and accordingly the petition is hereby dismissed.”
PDP and Bassi claimed that the second respondent was not duly elected by the majority of the lawful votes cast at the election of February 23, 2019.
The petitioners further averred that the election was void by reason of substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.
They further claimed that the 2nd Respondent did not score the majority votes cast and therefore urged the tribunal to nullify the return of the 2nd respondent as winner of the said election.
They also sought the order of the tribunal to direct INEC to issue certificate of return to the 2nd petitioner as the duly elected member, House of Representatives for Askira/Uba/Hawul Federal Constituency.
In the alternative, they sought an order of the tribunal directing INEC to conduct a fresh election.