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Tribunal sets to deliver judgment on Nasarawa governorship poll

The Nasarawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Lafia is set to deliver judgment on the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Labaran Maku, with the adoption of written addresses by all parties on Tuesday.

Counsels to the three defendants had all urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.

Counsel to Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Yusuf Ali, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition, saying the petitioner failed to prove his case against the April 11 election.

Ali said it was ambiguous for the petitioner who won only 7.2 percent of the total votes, and in only one local government, to ask to be declared winner of the election.

On his part, counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yusuf Usman urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition, allegations of decrease in votes, over voting, mutilation of votes and falsification of results and forceful declaration of results by INEC.

In his submission, counsel to INEC, Hassan Liman, also a SAN urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit because the petitioner failed to produce witnesses in five local government areas, and also abandoned documents tendered in the tribunal.

But counsel to Maku, Joe Gazama urged the tribunal to nullify the election and declare the petitioner winner. He said the petitioner deposited documentary evidence; having presented 56 witnesses to substantiate his claims and was not contended by the parties.

Gazama said the petitioner won with a far margin of 26,000 votes.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Halima Mohammed told the parties that the tribunal will communicate to them on a later day, about the date for delivering judgment.

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