The National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jalingo, on Wednesday sacked Senator Bashir Marafa of Taraba Central Senatorial District and ordered that his opponent in the March 28 election, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Alhaji Yusuf Abubakar,be returned as the duly elected Senator .
Delivering judgment, Justice Suleiman Yusuf, held that the APC candidate had proved his case beyond reasonable doubt that Marafa did not score the lawful majority votes in the March 28 election as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Justice Yusuf, therefore, ordered INEC to declare Abubakar as the winner of the election and he be returned victorious accordingly.
The judge also directed INEC to issue the Certificate of Return to the APC candidate as the duly elected candidate who scored the lawful majority votes at the election.
“The petitioners, whose main complaint was the non-inclusion of results in 16 polling units in Kaigamma Ward in Bali Local Government Area in the overall result, have substantially proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.
“ The non-inclusion of the results of 16 polling units where elections were credibly conducted and announced contravened the Electoral Law, 2010, as amended.
“Also, the swapping of the results of Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate with the ones of the PDP’s candidate in Takalafiya Ward was also substantially proven.
“After re-collation of the results, Abubakar, the APC candidate scored 66,097 votes, while Bashir Marafa of PDP, scored 64,356 votes,” the tribunal said.
The judge further held that the cancellation of results at collation centres, after the presiding officer had announced same results at the polling units, was done in flagrant contravention of the 2010 Electoral Act.