The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the election of Jafaru Leko as member representing Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State in the House of Representatives.
The three-member panel, presided by Justice Lawal Shuaibu, dismissed the appeal filed by Kefas Magaji of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the grounds that it lacked merit.
The court held that the petitioners (Mr Magaji and PDP) failed to prove their case on the preponderance of evidence.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Mr Leko of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the February 25 general election winner into the federal constituency seat.
Dissatisfied with the victory, Mr Magaji and the PDP filed a petition challenging Mr Leko’s declaration.
But the National and State Houses of Assembly Elections Tribunal dismissed the petition.
The petitioners proceeded to the appellate court via Appeal No: CA/J/EPT/BA/HR/05/2023 between Barrister Kefas M. Magaji and PDP Vs. Jafaru Gambo Leko, APC and INEC.
Delivering the judgment on Friday, the Appeal Court agreed with the submission of Johnson Usman, SAN, counsel to Mr Leko, that the trial tribunal was right when it dismissed the petition.
The court, which wondered why most of the witnesses presented by the petitioners testified in Hausa Language while their witness statements were in English, consequently dismissed the appeal and upheld that Mr Leko was the poll winner.
Speaking on the outcome of the appeal, Mr Usman said the decision was a victory for democracy.
Israel Usman, lawyer to the petitioner, declined to comment on the development.