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  • Sidi-Ali v. Baban-Takwa
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  • 2004-04-12
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Sidi-Ali v. Baban-Takwa

ADAMU SIDI-ALI

V

YUSUF USMAN BABAN-TAKWA & ORS.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY/GOVERNORSHIP AND LEGISLATIVE HOUSES ELECTION TRIBUNAL

( ABUJA DIVISION )

CHIOMA NWOSU-IHEME, J. ( CHAIRMAN )

O. E. OKPO, J. (MEMBER)

TINU AKOMOLAFE-WILSON, J. (MEMBER)

I. M. UMAR, K. (MEMBER)

ZAKARIYA Y. ABDULLAHI, K. ( MEMBER )

PETITION NO. ABJ/EPT/2/03

FRIDAY, 27TH JUNE, 2003

ELECTION PETITION -Ballot papers - Burning same after counting Effect of

ELECTION PETITION - Collation Officers for Local Government/Area Council - Powers of - Section 39, Guideline for Elections

ELECTION PETITION - Collation Officers - Returning Officers - Powers of under Electoral Act 2002 - Whether subject to review by Election Tribunal and Court

ELECTION PETITION - Collation Officers - Where usurp the powers of Resident Electoral Commissioner to accept or reject results of election - Impropriety of

ELECTION PETITION - Returning Officers in the case of Federal Constituency with more than one Local Government/Area Council - Power of - Section 40, Guidelines for Elections

ELECTION PETITION - Returning Officer - Where declares results without receiving reports from his subordinates - Whether proper -  Effect of so doing

Issues:

1.              Whether considering the evidence as presented by the petitioner and the respondents, there were sufficient irregularities to warrant the exclusion of the results of Kwaita Sabo Polling Unit, Kwaita Tsoho Polling Unit, Leda Polling Unit, and Kigbe Polling Unit, all in Yebu Ward.

2.              Whether the Collation Officer had powers to refuse the said results, whether the Returning Officer was right in announcing the result without those four Units. If they had the powers, did they exercise such powers properly and in accordance with the law.

3.              Whether the exclusion of the said four Polling Units affected the result of the petitioner. Simply put, whether the petitioner would have won the election if the Collation Officer had not refused to enter the said results.

Facts:

The petitioner herein, Adamu Sidi-Ali, a candidate for the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) for the election to the House of Representatives petitioned the Election Tribunal and prayed that it be determined as follows:

(i)             That the 1st respondent Yusuf Usman Baban-Takwa who also contested for the House of Representatives under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on 12/4/03 was not duly elected or returned.

(ii)           That the petitioner was duly elected and ought to be returned as duly elected, having scored the majority of lawful votes cast at the said election.

(iii)         That the result in Forms EC8A and EC8B(1) from the following Polling Units be included in the collated results of Yebu Ward:(a) Kwaita Sabo Polling Unit in Yebu Ward.

(b) Kwaita Tsoho Polling Unit in Yebu Ward; (c) Leda Polling Unit in Yebu Ward; and (d) Kigbe Polling Unit in Yebu Ward.

(iv)         The exclusion of the votes cast in the said four Polling Units without any justification is unconstitutional, null and void.

(v)           The correct votes scored by the petitioner in the said four Polling Units be entered in Form EC8B(1) for Yebu Ward.

(vi)         That form EC8B(1) for Yebu Ward and forms EC8C and EC8D for Kwali Area Council be rectified accordingly and the petitioner declared and returned as duly elected.

(vii)       That the petitioner be declared validly elected and returned, having polled the highest number of lawful votes cast at the election.

ALTERNATIVELY,

That the election is incomplete and void as the results in the said four Polling Units in Yebu Ward were not included in the result sheets, and a fresh election be held in the entire four disputed Polling Units in Yebu Ward, by the 2nd - 7th respondents to the Office of membership of the House of Representatives representing Abaji, Kwali, Gwagwalada and Kuje Federal Constituency.

In their replies to the petition, the 1st respondent and the 2nd - 7th respondents deny all the averments in the petition and state that election in those four Polling Stations were marred by violence and irregularities. That at Leda Polling Station, there was burning of ballot papers, while at Kigbe, Five Tendered ballot papers were counted alongside the ordinary ballot papers: That in the other three Polling Stations in Yebu Ward, it was difficult to reconcile the overall result with the number of ballot papers issued.

Trial in the petition was conducted and the Tribunal took argument of counsel to both parties.