Sack Gombe Assembly Speaker runs to Appeal Court

By Williams Ago, Gombe

Sacked Speaker of Gombe State House of Assembly, Abubakar Luggerewo

Speaker of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Abubakar Luggerewo of the All Progressive Congress (APC), says he is appealing the National and State Legislative Election Petition Tribunal judgment in Gombe, which set aside his election and ordered a rerun in a polling unit in the constituency.

The Tribunal also set aside the certificate of return issued to Luggerewo, who represents Akko Central Constituency in the State House of Assembly and ordered a rerun in Kumo East polling Unit 018 within 30 days.

In the judgment, the tribunal panel, led by Morenikeji Obadina said, "A rerun within the next 30 days of judgement in Kumo East 018 should be conducted to ascertain the actual winner between Luggerewo of the APC and Bashir Abdullahi of the PDP."

The Tribunal Panel had acknowledged the petition of Bashir Abdullahi, challenging the elections in five polling units in Kumo central and Kumo East of Akko Local Government Area of the state where there were reports of election non compliance.

It agreed with the petitioner's submissions challenging the cancellation of the three polling units in Kumo central ward stating that there were no proof of over voting in units 001, 014, 024 in Kumo central and thus added the votes in favour of the petitioner and the respondent.

The tribunal also looked into the two remaining wards in Kumo East and agreed with the petitioner for a rerun in one polling unit but however disagreed with the petitioner in another polling unit.

It said, "we cannot compel the people to come out and vote given reports of people unwilling to come and vote due to insecurity during the elections."

Benjamin Sati, counsel to the petitioner, praised the tribunal for the judgement, saying, "it has set new grounds of jurisprudence in election tribunal cases."

In his reaction, counsel to the respondent, Caleb Ubale, said he was ready to appeal the judgement at the Appeal Court.

Luggerewo, in his response to journalists in a telephone interview and sounding confident, assured that the party would appeal the judgement. "I was not at the court but I was briefed. The next line of action is that we are going to appeal," he said.
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