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The National and State Assemblies Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Sokoto on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by the defeated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Salihu Maidaji, against the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Sokoto East, Senator Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir.

Maidaji, the immediate past Speaker of the Eighth Assembly, had challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaration of the APC candidate as winner of the election conducted on February 23.

He alleged that Gobir was not qualified at the time of the conduct of the election, having allegedly tendered forged certificates.

The PDP candidate also alleged that Gobir was not duly elected as he did not score the majority of lawful votes cast while there was substantial non-compliance with electoral laws.

But Gobir insisted that he was qualified to contest the poll and did not breach any electoral law.

In its judgment, the tribunal struck out the petition for abandonment, dismissed it for being statute-barred and declared that it lacked merit.

It adjourned two State Assembly petitions for judgments at a date yet to be announced.

The petitions include that of Sokoto North I Constituency filed by APC and Malami Mohammed Galadanchi against the election of Halliru Buhari of the PDP.

The second one was filed by the defeated PDP candidate for Dange/Shuni Constituency, Tukur Mohammed, against the election of APC’s Aminu Magaji Bodai.

All the counsel in the two cases had adopted their final written addresses and replies on points of law.

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