Rev. Wilson Sabiya V. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur & Ors. (1983)
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If ever an appeal was lacking in merit, this was it.
The petitioner, now appellant, filed this petition to challenge the return of the 1st respondent herein. The petition was based on a catalogue of electoral malpractices, which, in the argument of his counsel, should lead to a nullification of the election. In the same breath, the petitioner sought to be elected on the same evidence.
This is clearly an impossible feat. Having said this, how did the petitioner prove his averments Most of the witnesses called by him had no direct testimony to offer and the only one who produced documentary proof was the 3rd respondent, the returning officer, himself an official of the Federal Electoral Commission. This was the only witness who produced evidence upon which the return in this election was made. Without the evidence of this witness, the position in this case would be that no return had been made till today.
In my view, to prove falsification, it is basic that there should be in existence at least two results one of which could be stigmatised as genuine and the other false. The weakness of this case lies in the fact that no other conflicting documentary evidence was offered.
It was therefore no surprise that the petition tribunal, rightly in my view, stated unequivocally that the evidence produced in proof of this petition was inadequate and dismissed it.
The Federal Court of Appeal was also right in dismissing the appeal, thus affirming the decision of the election tribunal. Nothing that was argued before us has persuaded me to hold a view different from that held by the two lower courts. We saw no merit in this appeal and accordingly did not call upon Mr. Brown- Peterside for the respondents.
Accordingly this appeal fails and it is dismissed. The decision of the Gongola State High Court in this matter dated 12/9/83 which was affirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal is hereby re- affirmed. N300 costs are awarded to each respondent.