There were 3 judges in the Tribunal. One is Chairman and the other two are members. The law is that decision is reached by majority view with or without the Chairman. After calling a host of witnesses, tendering exhibits and laborious argument by lawyers, only two issues divided the Tribunal. 1. On failure of INEC to write the total number of accredited voters in 17 polling units result sheets. All the witnesses agreed that there was proper accreditation in the 17 polling units in issue. They also agreed that votes scored by APC and PDP is correct and not altered. Their only complain was that the total number accredited was not filled in the appropriate column in the result sheets. Now here is the split. The 2 members agreed that this error is a substantial non compliance with the law and the result of these 17 polling units be cancelled and deducted from final scores of the parties. This means APC now loose 2, 029 votes deducted by Tribunal while PDP loose 1,246. This deduction now made PDP to lead since the margin was just about 400 votes. However, the Chairman disagreed with the two members. In his opinion since there was proper accreditation and all the witnesses agreed that the votes scored in these polling units were actually correctly written in the result sheets, then failing to fill the number of accredited voters on the result sheets is not a big deal that should warrant cancellation of these correct votes and deducting it from the total scores. This would have mean Adeleke will loose the Petition but unfortunately for APC, it is a minority opinion. Let’s go to the second issue. 2. On cancellation or non holding of election in 7 polling units. There was no witness from any of these 7 polling units to testify about the votes scored by the parties in the 7 units during the September 22 election. It was the State collation officer of PDP that testified that the result was cancelled by INEC returning officer. Now here is the decision. The two members agreed that the INEC returning officer had no power to cancel results of the 7 polling units. Hence, they decided to deduct all the votes scored by the winner, APC and the loser, PDP in the September 27 rerun election. This deduction of votes gave PDP further lead in final analysis. On his part, the Chairman disagreed with the two members. In his opinion before you can say the results of these 7 polling units were cancelled, you must tender in evidence the 7 results for court to see and believe that there was election and results in those 7 units. He said since they all agree that PDP failed to either the original results or copies issued to them on 22nd September then there is no way he can agree that there was election in these units on 22nd September. He opined that the only results of these units before the Tribunal is the result of the rerun election on 27th September. He reasoned that you can not deduct the result of the rerun election of 27th September when you don’t have the result of 22nd September to add. Doing that will mean that the election is concluded without results from 7 polling units which can change the margin of who becames winner. And deducting the result of 27th September without adding the result of 22nd September is like double jeopardy. That in the absence of the result of the 7 polling units for the election on 22nd September then INEC returning officer is entitled to order for the rerun election of 27th September and the result of 27th September should be added. This would have spelt doom to the dancing Sen. Adeleke but unfortunately, it is minority opinion. And minority opinion it remains until upheld on Appeal. LAW TO REMEMBER Do you know that not all citizens of Nigeria are qualified to be President of Nigeria? You must be citizen by birth and not by registration or naturalization. See section 131 of CFRN. P. D. Pius, Esq., LLM, ACIArb. (UK), 08038944639]]>

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