Tribunal Sacks Taraba Speaker

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The Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jalingo on Wednesday nullified the election of the Speaker of the Taraba state House of Assembly, Abel Diah, of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to set aside a certificate of Return earlier issued to the speaker.

The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC in Taraba state had earlier declared Mr. Diah, the winner of the April eleven elections for Mbamga Constituency in the state House of Assembly.

Following the pronouncement, the All Progressives Congress Candidate in the constituency, Emmanuel Bongo, went to the elections tribunal challenging the victory of the Speaker.

The petitioner argued that elections conducted in nine polling units in Mbamga constituency were marred by enormous irregularities.

Delivering its judgment, the National and Houses of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal ruled that elections in eight out of the nine polling units, challenged by the petitioner, were conducted against the provision of the 2010 Electoral Act.

According to the tribunal, polls conducted in the eight polling units were null and void.

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The tribunal declared the elections inconclusive and ordered INEC to conduct fresh polls within 90 days beginning from Wednesday in the eight affected polling units.

The judges ordered the electoral umpire to set aside the certificate of return earlier issued to the Speaker.

With the judgment, the APC candidate, Emmanuel Bongo, leads with 1,440 votes.

Speaking to Journalist after the ruling, the APC Chairman in the state, Hassan Ardo, thanked the tribunal saying the judgment was based on facts.

On the other hand, the counsel to the speaker declined comment.

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