The Supreme Court sitting in Abuja, today nailed the hope of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Engr. Musa Wada in upturning the victory of Governor Yahaya Bello at the 16th November, 2019 governorship election.
The Court also dismissed the Appeal of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate Natasha Akpoti for lacking scintilla of merit.
The seven-man panel of the Supreme Court Justices in a unanimous Judgement said the November Governorship Election held substantial compliance to all electoral laws
The Supreme Court held that the allegations, which includes multiple thumb printing and results falsification were not proven by the appellants and consequently dismissed the petitions.
In the election held in November 2019, Gov. Yahaya Bello polled 406,222 votes to defeat his closest opponent, the PDP’s candidate, Mr Wada, who scored 189,704 votes.
The PDP and Wada had, shortly after INEC declaration of the results filed a petition on December 7, 2019 before the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which sat in Abuja.
On May 23, 2020, the tribunal, in a split decision of two-to-one, dismissed the petition and upheld INEC’s return of Bello as the winner of the election.
The tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Kashim Kaigama, and a member, Justice Baraka Wali, gave the majority decision, while another member, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele, gave the minority dissenting judgment, upholding the petition and voiding Bello’s election.
The PDP and Wada appealed the majority decision of the tribunal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja. But in a judgment on July 4, 2020 the appellate court’s five-man panel was unanimous in dismissing the appeal and proceeded to uphold the majority decision of the tribunal.
On the Court of Appeal’s panel were Justices Adamu Jauro, Haruna Simon Tsammani, Onyekachi Aja Otisi, Elfreda O. Williams-Daudu and Mohammed Lawal Shuaibu.