…. AMAC, Abaji, INEC appeal ruling
The FCT election petition tribunal sitting at the Magistrate Court Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, has nullified the election of the incumbent chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Christopher Zakka Maikalangu, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his Abaji Area Council counterpart, Abubakar Umar Abdullahi, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Delivering judgement, the three-member panel led by Chief Magistrate Muinat Olashade Oyekan, declared Murtala Usman Karshi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the authentic winner of the just concluded February 12, 2022 council election for AMAC.
She said the APC candidate scored the highest number of votes cast, more than the PDP candidate, owing to the cancellation of results at some polling units across the 12 political wards during the last council polls.
She, therefore, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the AMAC chairman and present it to APC candidate, Murtala Usman Karshi, as the duly elected chairman of AMAC.
The judge also directed the FCT minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, or any person acting on his behalf, to swear in the APC candidate as chairman of AMAC.
Similarly, the presiding judge nullified the election of the chairman of Abaji Area Council, Abubakar Umar Abdullahi, of APC and declared the PDP candidate, Alhaji Yahaya Garba Gawu, as the winner of the February 12, 2022, council poll in the area.
She said the ruling APC had no candidate as at the time of the election and frowned at INEC for declaring the APC winner of the election without a candidate.
She also told INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Abdullahi of the APC and presented to Alhaji Yahaya Garba Gawu of PDP, who came second in the election as duly elected chairman of the area council.
Meanwhile, the chairmen of AMAC and Abaji area councils as well as INEC have filed notices of appeal against the nullification of the elections by the tribunal.
Copies of the appeal were made available to our reporter on Saturday.
Daily Trust had reported that the INEC returning officer in the February 12, 2022 council poll in Abaji area council, Prof Gabriel Mordi, had declared APC winner of the election without a candidate after polling 7,289 votes against PDP’s Alhaji Yahaya Garba Gawu, who got 4,062 votes in the election.
Prof. Mordi said the winner would be announced after the determination of the case before the court in Abuja.
However, the Supreme Court had, after the election, declared Abubakar Umar Abdullahi as the authentic APC chairmanship candidate who emerged during the party’s primary held on March 28, 2021, in the area.