The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Friday, upheld the election of Rep Jafaru Leko as member representing Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State in the House of Representatives.
The three-member panel, presided by Justice Lawal Shuaibu, dismissed the appeal filed by Kefas Magaji of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the grounds that it lacked merit.
The court held that the petitioners (Magaji and PDP) failed to prove their case on the preponderance of evidence.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (NAN) had declared Leko of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the Feb. 25 general election into the federal constituency seat.
Dissatisfied with the victory, Magaji and the PDP filed a petition challenging Leko’s declaration.
But the National and State Houses of Assembly Elections Tribunal dismissed the petition.
The petitioners proceeded to the Court of Appeal via Appeal No: CA/J/EPT/BA/HR/05/2023 between Barrister Kefas M. Magaji and PDP Vs. Jafaru Gambo Leko, APC and INEC.
Delivering the judgment on Friday, the Appeal Court agreed with the submission of Mr Johnson Usman, SAN, counsel to Leko, that the trial tribunal was right when it dismissed the petition.
The court, which wondered while most of the witnesses presented by the petitioners testified in Hausa Language while their witness statements were made in English, consequently dismissed the appeal and upheld that Jafaru Leko was the winner of the poll.
Speaking to NAN on the outcome of the appeal, Mr Usman said the decision was a victory for democracy.
The senior lawyer said that the court was right when it affirmed the decision of the trial court by holding that the petitioners/appellants failed in its entirety to prove their case both at trial and on appeal.
Mr Israel Usman, lawyer to the petitioner, declined to comment on the development.
He simply said: “Until my client ask me to speak before I can make a comment about the judgment.”(NAN)