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Area council poll: AMAC Chairman to appeal tribunal ruling

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CHAIRMAN of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Christopher Zakka has said he will appeal the ruling of an election tribunal of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which nullified his victory in the area council elections.

The tribunal had in a ruling on Friday declared All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Usman Murtala Karshi as the winner of the AMAC chairmanship election.

In a statement on Friday night, Zakka rejected the ruling, describing it as an embarrassment to the Nigerian judiciary.

“Following the judgment at the FCT Election Tribunal today, the leadership of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) has renounced the judgment passed in favour of the APC, alleging manipulation and manufacture of ghost votes against the ones that was legitimately announced after the February 12th elections which to us, is an embarrassment to Nigerian the judiciary,” the statement said.

Zakka urged his supporters to refrain from getting violent or taking laws into their hands, noting that his legal team was handling the appeal.

“The call is against the backdrop of violent celebrations by supporters of the APC, who flooded some parts of the city centre and AMAC Secretariat defacing posters of the PDP and barricading entrances of the AMAC Secretariat, chanting provocative, brandishing dangerous implements in the guise of their tribunal victory,” he said.

The statement also questioned the extra votes allocated to the APC candidate.

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“The judgment appeared to be completely biased and against the will of the people, who came out enmasse in the AMAC chairmanship election on February 12 to vote for the candidate of their choice,” the statement added.

Following the FCT Area Council elections on February 12, Zakka, the Peoples  Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, was declared winner of the AMAC chairmanship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), after recording 19,302 votes.

INEC announced that Zakka defeated his closest rival, Karshi, with over 6,000 votes, as the APC only recorded 13, 240 votes at the polls.

However, an election tribunal in the FCT ruled that Karshi had secured 21, 000 votes instead of 13, 240, and declared him winner of the elections.

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Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org

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