Supreme Court upholds election of six governors

The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday affirmed the election of six governors who contested the March 18, 2023 governorship polls in their respective states.

The apex court dismissed the appeals filed by the candidates of the opposition parties who challenged the victory of the governors at the tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

The six governors whose elections were upheld by the Supreme Court are:

– Gov. Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nasarawa State
– Gov. Dapo Abiodun of the APC in Ogun State
– Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of the APC in Gombe State
– Gov. Sherrif Oborevwori of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State
– Gov. Nasir Idris Kauran of the APC in Kebbi State
– Gov. Uba Sani of the APC in Kaduna State

In Nasarawa State, the apex court dismissed the four appeal filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emmanuel David Ombugadu for lacking merit.

In the lead judgement, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun said, “The issues in this appeal are resolved against the appellant. The appeal lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed.”

Also in Ogun State, the Supreme Court upheld the election of Dapo Abiodun as governor of Ogun State, dismissing the appeal of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Candidate, Ladi Adebutu.

A five-member panel of the Supreme Court, headed by John Okoro, ruled that Adebutu, failed to prove allegations of non-compliance with the Electoral Act during the conduct of the 18 March poll.

“This appeal is unmeritorious and ought to be dismissed and it is hereby dismissed. The judgement of the Court is hereby affirmed,” Tijjani Abubakar, who read the lead judgement, said.

The Gombe State appeal also followed the same pattern with the apex court throwing out the appeal of Jibrin Barde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election of Governor Inuwa Yahaya.

Barde had through his lawyers insisted that their client got the highest number of lawful votes during the election, claiming that there were multiple thumb printing and ballot box stuffing in nine local government areas of the state in favour of Governor Inuwa.

His claims were however dismissed by the tribunal, the court of appeal and the apex court.

In Delta State, the case which was the first for the day, saw the Supreme Court ruling in favour of Sheriff Oborevwori of the PDP.

The apex court dismissed the appeals filed by the Ovie Omo-Agege and the APC, Ken Pela of the Labour Party (LP) and Kenneth Gbagi of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Also delivering judgement on the Kebbi State governorship election appeal, Uwani Abba-Aji, in her lead decision of the court’s panel, said the appellants, the PDP and its candidate, Aminu Bande, failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on their shoulders by the law.

“My conclusion is that this appeal lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed,” Ms Abba-Aji said in the lead decision.

In her contribution to the lead verdict, Ms Kekere-Ekun said, “There is no scintilla of merit in this appeal, and I accordingly dismiss it.”

In dismissing the appeal of the PDP candidate in Kaduna State Isah Ashiru, the apex court affirmed the decision of the court of appeal, saying that the  key witness called by the PDP during the tribunal hearing merely gave hearsay evidence even when he was not present when the malpractices he alleged took place.

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