Tribunal affirms Kaduna LP reps member’s victory 

The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna, has dismissed the petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives candidate for Kaura Federal Constituency, Hon Gideon Gwani seeking to invalidate the election of his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Hon Donatus Mathew. 

Donatus, a former Okada rider was elected in the House of Representatives election conducted on February 25th, 2023 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

Not satisfied with the outcome of the election, Gideon Gwani, who was the Minority Whip at the 9th Assembly in the House of Representatives, filed a petition at the tribunal seeking to invalidate Donatus’s victory. 

Delivering judgment in the matter, Friday, Justice F.A. Fiberesima, who was a member of a three-man panel that heard the petition, dismissed the case and awarded N1.6 million to Donatus.  

Fielding questions from Journalists, counsel to the respondent Barr Zakari Sogfa, said two prayers were brought by the petitioner.

“The first prayer was that the respondent, Hon Donatus was not qualified to contest the election that produced him as the party’s flag bearer for Kaura federal constituency on the ground that he was not sponsored by his political party and the other prayer was that there were electoral malpractices in five areas but delivering the judgment the two prayers were struck out by the tribunal for lack of merit. 

“The tribunal further ruled that Gwani did not have the right to determine to a political party who should sponsor its candidate other than who should fly its flag and how it should go with its elections,” he said. 

Speaking further, Sogfa said the council couldn’t 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.