Electing Hon. Christopher Maikalangu to lead the Abuja Municipal Area Council was affirmed by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) court (AMAC).
The FCT Area Council Election Tribunal’s August 5 ruling declaring Hon. Murtala Usman Karshi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the victor of the February 12 election was overturned by the three-member panel, which was composed of Hon. Justice S. B. Belgore (Chairman), Hon. Justice Yusuf Halilu (Member 1), and Hon. Justice Jude O. Onwuegbuzie (Member 2).
“The testimony of the purported polling unit agents, who were not present at the disputed units, is hearsay or documentary hearsay, which occurs when someone who is not aware of the provenance of a document attempts to prove its contents orally by documentation.
“The testimony of the witnesses, as received by the lower tribunal, is now purged based on the evidence of our conclusions that the aforementioned witnesses were not the polling unit agents in the relevant polling units. In a similar spirit, the tribunal has discarded all of the papers that the aforementioned witnesses had referred to since there was no proof to support their contents.
The tribunal made the decision to pull a hatchet job by attempting to toss the baby out with the bath water notwithstanding the discrepancy in the testimony of the witnesses. Anything that benefits the goose benefits the gander as well.
There was no doubt that the tribunal would issue two rules: one for the petitioner and one for the respondent. The tribunal had the chance to compare the forms submitted by the respondents, but that didn’t end up happening.
“The petitioner utterly failed to establish its claim stemming from the statements made at the lower tribunal. Not in courts, but at polling places, elections are won. Making judicial decisions is our responsibility as a court.
An impossible thing cannot be ordered by the law. Doing what is true and right is the core of justice. Once an INEC officer has certified the election forms, you might inquire as to where the petitioner obtained his own form. We’ll discuss this tomorrow.
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“The verdict of the lower tribunal is not only immoral and a mockery of justice, but also brutal. While the majority must be given the opportunity to rule, the minority must always be given a voice. Although morality cannot be managed by legislation, behavior can.
The heart may not be changed by law, but the heartless can be restrained. The lower tribunal’s stance is equivalent to upending and overturning the fundamental principles of the rule of law. This is detrimental to our democracy. We haven’t come across any justifications or arguments for the decision at hand.
“He who knowingly permits evil is as much a part of it as the perpetrator. It is obvious that the petitioner’s evidence is a judicial game breaker and is thus in limbo. We stop supporting evil. Consequently, the appeal FCT/ACEAT/AP/01/22 is dismissed.
The lower tribunal’s ruling, which was handed down on August 5, 2022, is now reversed. All declarations issued in this manner by the lower tribunal are thus revoked.
“It is thus restored that Christopher Zakka of the PDP is the legitimately elected chairman of AMAC, as declared by INEC. God, please guide us.
After the verdict, Christopher Zakka Maikalangu, the chairman of AMAC, spoke to the media and thanked the tribunal for upholding democracy, saying that the legal system is the average man’s final chance.
I’m the happiest person alive right now. Since I was elected in February, I have not had a moment of relaxation. It has been making daily trips to the tribunal. From tenure extension to this particular instance. However, the tribunal’s restoration of democracy has us grinning right now. I give thanks to God for restoring democracy through the courts.
“Let me share this message with the public. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, is not well known for suing people for money. Because God gave you money, the people in the FCT only know how to sue other people. Go ask others for their support if you wish to compete.
Don’t believe you can influence elections by going to the judiciary. The judiciary serves the general populace. So, I appreciate the judges for upholding democracy and sticking up for the average man. I give thanks to God that it is over.
The judges argued that the lower court’s ruling was not only wrong but also invalidated every democratic achievement in Nigeria.
According to Hon. Justice Yusuf Halilu, the lower tribunal erred by dismissing the contradicting evidence that was presented before it in the case FCT/ACEAT/AP/01/22, which included Maikalangu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the appellant and Murtala Karshi and three other respondents.
The panel claimed that by naming Karshi the winner of the election, the lower court pulled a ruse.
It is certain that the APC as a party was involved in legal disputes after holding its primary to choose a candidate to represent it in the AMAC election on February 12, 2022.
It is also beyond dispute that the first respondent, Murtala Usman Karshi, was involved in the aforementioned conflict, which led to parties being brought before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, which ultimately proclaimed the first respondent the victor of the APC primary for the AMAC election.
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The appellant and the respondents to the lower tribunal both provided evidence, which we have reviewed. The APC’s witnesses who were identified as supervisors in the contested voting units subsequently acknowledged that they were not polling unit agents. It is imperative that we now inquire as to the implications of the results-collection procedure.
Can collation be performed without using polling unit results? Voting at polling places, results being tallied by electoral officials, and results being spoken out to everyone is in fact the election process. If such is the case, who should be contacted if a complaint is made that the findings were improperly compiled? Is it a polling place agent or the ward supervisor? A polling unit agent is a correct answer.