A SEVEN-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Tanko Muhammad, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, on Monday unanimously upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State.
Idris Wada, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had appealed the judgement of the Tribunal and the Appeal Court to dismiss the November 16, 2019 election on the grounds that it didn’t comply with the electoral laws.
In a lead judgement prepared by Justice Inyang Okoro but read on his behalf by another member of the panel, Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, the apex court affirmed the July 4, 2020 judgment of Court of Appeal in Abuja and the May 23, 2020 majority verdict of the election petition tribunal which had both upheld the Bello’s victory at the poll.
In resolving all the five issues in favour of Bello, his party, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Supreme Court declared the appellants’ appeal as lacking in merit.
“Having resolved all the five issues against the appellants, it is abundantly clear that the appeal is devoid of any scintilla of merit and it is accordingly dismissed,” the court ruled.
In another judgement, the Supreme Court also dismissed the prayers of falsification of results against Yahaya Bello and his deputy by Natasha Apoti, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
In later judgement, the Court held that the appellate refused to prove the falsification of results.
Aside from the CJN, Justices Okoro and Abba-Aji, other members of the panel who also agreed with the lead judgments were, Justices Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, and Amina Augie.