Speaker, Taraba State House of Assembly, Hon. Abel Peter Diah

The National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jalingo has set aside the election of the Speaker, Taraba State House of Assembly, Hon. Abel Peter Diah.

Delivering judgement on Wednesday in the petition filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC ) candidate for Mbamga state constituency, Mr Emmanuel Bongo, the tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the Speaker pending the conclusion of elections in eight polling units in the constituency.

The APC candidate had filed a petition before the tribunal challenging the victory of Hon Diah on the grounds that elections in 9 polling units of the constituency did not conform substantially with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

In the ruling, which was read by Justice A.M Ali on behalf of the three man panel of justices, the tribunal held that elections in 8 polling units out of the total 48 polling units did not conform substantially with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and therefore ordered INEC to conduct fresh election in the 8 polling units within 90 days.

The tribunal further held that the petitioner failed to proof his case in regard to the 9th polling unit in contention due to his failure to call oral witnesses as he did in regards to the other 8 polling units that were cancelled.

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