By Titus Atondu, Makurdi
The National /State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi on Wednesday upheld the election of Abba Moro as the Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District (Zone A) and dismissed the petition filed by the former Deputy Governor of Benue State Chief Steven Lawani against the election of Moro.
Lawani had approached the tribunal having been dissatisfied with the conduct of the Senatorial Election for Benue South Senatorial District held on 23 February, 2019, alleging irregularities.
He called 13 witnesses to testify that the election was not conducted in line with the Electoral Act as amended while Moro did not call any witness.
Delivering judgment on the matter, the tribunal chairman Justice A. A. Adeleye faulted the petition for been filed outside the pre-trial session, noting that the petitioners failed to proof that the election was not conducted in line with the Electoral Act.
He particularly, frowned at the testimonies of the petitioner’s witnesses describing them as ‘unreliable, contradictory, incoherent and mere hearsay which is inadmissible in law.
“The petitioners failed to unbundle documents brought by them and to expect the tribunal to do their job would be unfair. They listed documents without particularization since they could not proof their case, they should not have shifted the burden to the respondents. They could not establish Electoral malpractice. Thus the petition is dismissed for failure on the part of the petitioners to proof non compliance with the Electoral Act “, Justice Adeleye held.
Responding to the judgment, counsel to Sen. Moro, Ken Ikonne said the dismissal of the petition was certain, adding the margin of win was irreversible.
Moro said the judgment is a vindication of the legality of his election, positing that it is validation of the mandate given by people of Benue South Senatorial District,