The Bayelsa National and State House of Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by the Advance Allied Party ( AAP), for filing its pre-trial application out of time.
The party and its candidate, Mr Tobesime Asiou, in their petition had alleged that the March 9 election for the Yenogoa Constituency 1, was marred by corrupt practices of vote buying, violence and fraudulent thumb printing.
Asiou also challenged the election on grounds that he was validly nominated, but that his scores were unlawfully excluded from the Declaration of Results Form.
He further averred that if the 43 units where his scores were excluded had been counted, he would have come second place and the votes of the first respondent, Chief Oforji Oboku would have been far less than what was counted in his favour.
The respondents, Oboku, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on their part replied that the petition contained allegations of a criminal nature without any material particulars and should be struck out.
The respondents furthered said that the petition was vague, evasive, misconceived and should be dismissed for being incompetent.
They further said by the election as collated and declared, Oboku polled the majority of lawful and valid votes cast and was thereby declared and returned elected as the winner for the said election.
The petitioners in their reply to the respondents’ Preliminary Points of Law said the petition was competent by virtue of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The three-man panel, which comprised Justices H.A Offo, H. Mikailu and headed by K.O Wosu however in a ruling, dismissed the suit for failure of the petitioners to comply with pre-trial requirements.
The suit therefore, was dismissed because the petitioners filed their pre-trial application out of time.
The tribunal said the application ought to have been filed within seven days after the close of pleadings. .
edited by Sadiya Hamza