The Borno State National and State Houses of Assembly sitting in Nyanya on Thursday dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party challenging the victory of Alhaji Ahmed Satomi of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the February 23 Jere Federal Constituency election in Borno State.
The PDP and its candidate, Malam Bukar Shuwa, in the petition also joined the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission in the petition.
Delivering his ruling, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Peter Kekemeke, held that the PDP and Shuwa filed their petitions out of time, which was against the provisions of the Electoral Act (2010 as Amended).
Kekemeke held that according to the provisions of Paragraph 16 (1) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended, the petitioners had only five days from date of service to file a reply.
He noted that the petitioners filed out of time by a day as against the provision in Paragraph 18 of the Act, which required seven days to file pre-hearing notice.
He held: “We have given two provisions on these applications, the petitioners replied out of time allowed for pre-hearing notice by a day.
“The applications by the Respondents succeed, the petition is seen as abandoned and accordingly dismissed.”
In the petition dated March 15, with number: EPT/BO/HR/4/2019, and made available to NAN, Shuwa averred that the election was marred by irregularities and substantial non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act.
He therefore sought the declaration of the tribunal for INEC to withdraw Satomi’s Certificate of Return and to conduct fresh election for the seat of Jere Federal Constituency.
Satomi averred in his reply dated April 29, made available to NAN, that the petitioners call for cancellation of the election is unconscionable and borne out of desire to truncate the franchise freely exercised by the electorate.
He denied the petitioners’ allegations of connivance with INEC (3rd respondent) and put the petitioners to a strict proof of the allegations.
Satomi further averred that he would rely on relevant documents to prove his points.
He therefore urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition in its entirety for being frivolous, vexatious, unconscionable, gold digging and lacking on merit.