The petition filed by Adamu Muhammad Alkali of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) against Musa Agah of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the emergence of Musa Agah as the winner of the House of Representatives seat of the Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency in the 2023 general elections had been dismissed .
In the tribunal judgement delivered on Thursday 24th August, 2023 at High Court 6 Jos for the position of house of representatives member, Jos north/Bassa federal constituency in the suit: EPT/PL/HR/02/2023 Between Adamu Muhammad Alkali and PRP against INEC, Musa Agah and PDP, the tribunal noted that after listening to the submissions of the petitioners and their counsels as well as the respondents and their counsels, it shall summarily decide on two issues, to wit:
- Whether the 2nd respondent (Musa Agah) was at the time of the election qualified to contest for the election as member Jos north/Bassa Federal Constituency
- Whether the election can be said to have been conducted in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
The court held thus:
- The responsibility of the tribunal is to determine whether or not a candidate was an independent candidate but sponsored by a political party, it is not the business of the tribunal to concern itself with whether or not the party has a structure as at the time of the nomination and sponsorship of a candidate.
- Only party members or the party itself have the locus standi to challenge the nomination and sponsorship of a candidate. Besides, the issue of the nomination and sponsorship of a party candidate is a pre-election matter.
- The petitioners failed to bring any polling agents to prove the truth or falsehood of the election result but rather brought a witness that had no connection whatsoever with the election or any documents thereof. Besides, to prove the truth or otherwise of an election, one must present two separate results: one true and the other one false which the petitioners failed to.
- You cannot prove over voting without presenting the voters’ register.
Giving the lead judgement, Hon. Justice Williams Rotimi Olamide held that
- the 2nd respondent (Musa Agah) was at the time of the election qualified to contest for the election as member Jos north/Bassa Federal Constituency; he validly and incontrovertibly won the election.
- the election can be said to have been conducted in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
The petition was therefore dismissed forthwith.
It was a unanimous judgement as the two other honourable justices of the tribunal aligned with the position of the lead judge.