Peter Duru -Makurdi
The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, at the weekend reaffirmed the election of a member representing Katsina-Ala/Ukum/Logo constituency in the House of Representatives, Dr. Richard Gbande of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Gbande’s victory in the February 23 election was challenged at the appellate court by Mr. Solomon Wombo of the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose petition was earlier dismissed by the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Makurdi.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the tribunal, the appellants urged the appellate court to set aside the ruling on the grounds that the National Assembly election in the constituency was not credible.
They contended that the election was marred by irregularities including over-voting, voter intimidation, inducement of voters and non- compliance with Electoral Act 2010 (as amended)
In a unanimous verdict read by Justice J. E. Ekanem, the court dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.
The court also agreed with the tribunal that the appellants failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on them but shifted the same to the respondents.