Borno-central seat: Abba-Aji challenges Shettima’s victory

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Borno-central senatorial seat Senator Mohammed Abba-Aji has asked the court for an order mandating INEC to conduct a fresh election for the Borno-central senatorial district.

The candidate equally asked the Borno Election Petition Tribunal to nullify the victory of Governor Kashim Shettima of All Progressive Congress (APC) as winner of senatorial seat.

Also joined in the suit by the petitioner who had previously represented the zone between 2003 and 2007 are the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a petition he filed before the tribunal sitting in Abuja, Abba-Aji claimed the election conducted on February 23 was marred by over voting in seven wards.

He further argued that there was ample evidences of malpractices and non- compliance to the provision of the Electoral Act, adding that the election therefore fell short of the expected integrity.

Abba-Aji sought an order of the tribunal mandating the INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Shettima because the election was marred by corrupt practices and non- compliance with electoral act.

Similarly, Mallam Kudla Satumari of the PDP has challenged the declaration of Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume as winner of  the Borno-south senatorial district.

In the petition, Satumari, who joined the APC and the INEC as respondents, averred that the election was marred by corrupt practices and non- compliance with provision of the Electoral Act.

He, therefore, sought the order of the tribunal for cancellation of the election and for INEC to conduct fresh election for the Senatorial District within 90 days.

Also, another PDP candidate Alhaji Bukar Shuwa has challenged the declaration of the APC candidate Alhaji Ahmed Satomi as the elected representative of Jere federal constituency of Borno. Shuwa joined APC and INEC in the petition.

Secretary to the tribunal Mr Mike David confirmed that the tribunal relocated its sitting from Maiduguri to Abuja, following an approval by the president of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.

The relocation, he said, was based on security reasons and Justice Ishaq Bello, the FCT Chief Judge approved the use of FCT High Court Nyanya.

David said the tribunal was presided over by Justice Peter Kekemeke with Justice Anthonia Ubaka and Justice Yahaya Abubakar as members.

He said that received seven petitions and a pre-hearing date had yet to be fixed.  (NAN)

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