Nasarawa: Appeal Court dismisses tribunal’s ruling, affirms Sule as governor

THE Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed the Nasarawa state governorship election petitions tribunal ruling on the March 2023 governorship election and affirmed Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as duly elected.

In its ruling on Thursday, November 23, the appellate court stated that the tribunal erred in naming the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, David Ombugadu, as the legitimate winner in the poll.

The Court of Appeal decided that the tribunal did not give Sule a fair hearing.

The court also ruled that the tribunal improperly accepted the testimony of subpoenaed witnesses whose written declarations were not front-loaded with the petition.

The court decided that the oral and documentary evidence presented by Ombugadu and the PDP did not demonstrate overvoting. Consequently, it said the tribunal erred in deducting Sule’s votes when the PDP failed to provide evidence of overvoting.

The ICIR reported in October that the governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, sacked Sule as governor and declared Ombugadu as duly elected.




     

     

    Two justices out of three ruled on Monday, October 2, that Ombugadu won the election, while one dissented.

    In the judgment delivered virtually, the panel chairman, Ezekiel Ajayi, argued that there was no room for reasonable doubt, and the petitioner’s evidence was convincingly made.

    Sule ran for re-election but encountered fierce resistance from the PDP and other parties that participated in the poll.

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Sule the election winner with 347,209 votes, Ombugadu came second with 283,016 votes, while Abdullahi Maidoya of the NNPP had 11,726 votes.

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