The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna, Friday, dismissed the petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives candidate for Kaura Federal Constituency, Gideon Gwani to invalidate the election of his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Donatus Mathew.
Donatus, a former Okada rider, won the House of Representatives election conducted on February 25th, 2023 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Gideon Gwani, who was the Minority whip at the 9th Assembly in the House of Representatives, not satisfied with the outcome of the election filed a petition at the tribunal seeking to invalidate Donatus’s victory.
Justice F.A. Fiberesima while delivering judgment on the case on Friday, leading a three-man panel that heard the petition, dismissed the case and awarded N1.6 million damages to Donatus.
Speaking to journalists on Friday, Counsel to the respondent, Zakari Sogfa said two prayers were brought by the petitioner, “The first prayer was that the Respondent, Donatus was not qualified to contest the election that produced him as his party’s flag bearer for Kaura Federal Constituency.
”He based that conclusion on the ground that Donatus was not sponsored by his political party and that there were electoral malpractices in five areas, but the two prayers were struck out by the Tribunal for lack of merit.”
He stated that the tribunal further ruled that Gwani did not have the right to determine a political party who should sponsor its candidate other than who should fly its flag and how it should go with its elections.
Sogfa said the council could not have nullified the election as prayed, adding that such would amount to interfering in political party affairs, more so when the issue canvassed was a pre-election matter.