The Benue State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Makurdi Friday nullified the election of Mr Martin Aza of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Makurdi-North State Constituency.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the 2015 governorship/assembly elections, Mr Avine Agbom had approached the tribunal with a petition challenging Aza’s election.
Agbom contended that the conduct of the election in Agan and Mbalan electoral wards were marred by electoral malpractices and non-compliance with the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act, as amended and prayed the tribunal to nullify the wards’ results and order for fresh election.
Delivering judgment, the tribunal Chairman, Justice Mosumola Dipeolu, held that Aza failed to successfully counter the allegations brought by Agom.
Justice Dipeolu ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct fresh elections in 20 polling units in Agan and 14 polling units in Mbalan council wards of the constituency within 60 days.
“The onus of proof lies with the petitioner, which he did with submissions of relevant evidence.
“The first respondent failed to efficiently counter the allegations in his response.
“The testimonies of witnesses presented by the respondents’ counsel were contradictory and unreliable,’’ the Tribunal Chairman held.