…Says Community Elders Intervene
By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
The Kwara Central chapter of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, and it’s senatorial candidate in the just concluded general elections, Abdul Aiyelabegan, have withdrawn their petition before the electoral petition tribunal.
They filed a petition at the tribunal demanding the nullification of the February 25 senatorial election won by Mallam Saliu Mustapha, the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for Kwara Central senatorial district.
Mustapha had earlier been declared winner of the election by the the Independent Natıonal Electoral Commission, INEC, after polling 109,823 votes and had since been presented with a Certificate of Return by the electoral umpire.
But Aiyelabegan, who came fifth in the election, however, challenged the outcome of the election, arguing that the NNPP’s logo was not visible on the ballot papers used for the election.
In a turn of events however, Aiyelabegan, the NNPP decided to withdraw the petition earlier filed and both applicants, in April 7 told the court that they would no longer continue with the petition.
Before striking out the petition, the court had said, “The applicants were dissatisfied with the results as announced by the first respondent, INEC, which declared the second respondent, Saliu Mustapha, winner of the said election and have presented a petition against the respondents before this honourable tribunal.
“The petitioners, upon intervention by elders in the community, have decided to withdraw their petition against the respondents. The respondents will not be prejudiced by the grant of this application.”
Respondents in the petition were INEC, the APC and Mallam Mustapha, now a senator-elect.