In a recent development on September 18, 2023, two candidates representing the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Taraba State, Batulu Mohammed and Abel Peter, successfully retained their seats for Gashaka State Constituency and Mbamnga Constituency, respectively. This outcome follows a judgment rendered by the Taraba Elections Petition Tribunal, which convened in the state capital, Jalingo.
During the court proceedings, presided over by Justice Benson Ogbu, the tribunal reversed the victory of Nuhu Akila from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Furthermore, two cases brought against elected members of the APC in the Taraba State House of Assembly were dismissed, while a petition against Akila of the PDP was granted in favor of Emmanuel George from the APC.
In a late-night ruling, Justice Ogbu instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to revoke Akila’s certificate of return and reissue it to Emmanuel George from the APC.
These tribunal proceedings centered on two primary grounds: the qualification of the candidates and compliance with the Electoral Act. Both of these claims were dismissed by the tribunal. Regarding the suit brought by Mohammed Gayam of the PDP, counsel to the respondent, Mohammed Bashir, explained that the petition was rejected due to its lack of merit.
After the tribunal’s verdict on Monday night, a jubilant Emmanuel George expressed his satisfaction with the judgment, asserting that the court had affirmed his rightful victory in the fiercely contested election.
Justice has prevailed. We had maintained from the beginning that we had secured the majority of legally cast votes. The tribunal has now confirmed that I am the legitimate winner of that election. They have gone as far as instructing INEC to revoke the certificate of return and reinstate me,” he declared.