The Court of Appeal sitting in Jos has upheld the decision of the National Assembly elections Petition Tribunal, which had affirmed the victory of Sen. Hezekiah Dimka (APC) for the Plateau Central senatorial seat and dismissed the appeal of Mr David Paradang of the PDP which challenged Dimka’s victory.
Also dismissed by the appellate court was the appeal filed by Mr John-Bull Shekarau (PDP) against Rep Alphonsus Komsol (APC) for Shendam/Mikang/Qua’an Pan Federal Constituency, whose victory for Feb. 23 polls was upheld by the tribunal.
Two separate National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunals had upheld the elections of both Dimka and Komsol but the duo had appealed the judgments, and asked the appellate court to declare them winners of the polls for their respective constituencies, Plateau Central zone and Shendam/Mikang/Qua’an Pan,respectively.
Justice Mudashiru Nasiri-Oniyengi who read the two judgments on behalf of the panel, said that the two appeals fell short of proofs of electoral irregularities and violations of the electoral Act.
“The appeal filed by David Paradang and his party, PDP, has failed to prove the allegations of election malpractices against INEC and APC and therefore lacking in merit.
“Consequently, this court, hereby uphold the decisions of the tribunal by declaring Hezekiah Dimka of APC as duly elected senator for Plateau Central as the appeal is hereby dismissed and struck out, “ the judge declared.
Similarly, the appellate court said that Shekarau could not prove the allegation of certificate forgery and electoral irregularities against INEC and Komsol and, therefore, upheld the judgment of the tribunal.
“Having failed to prove the allegations of of certificate forgery and election malpractice, the appeal is hereby dismissed and struck out for lack of merit,” the judge said.
Speaking shortly after the judgement, Mr Garba Pwul (SAN), lead counsel to Dimka, described the judgment as “apt and credible “ as well as victory for the people of Plateau Central.
“We saw this coming because this mandate was overwhelmingly given to Dimka by the loving people of Plateau Central and affirmed by the tribunal.
“This judgment is indeed a joyful declaration to the people and the freedom to Dimka to serve them well at the National level,” Pwul said. (NAN)