Appeal Court Reverses Tribunal Verdict, Upholds Election of Nasarawa Gov

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reversed the judgement of the Nasarawa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which sacked Governor Abdullahi Sule.
This is even as the Court upheld the election of Sule as the duly elected Governor during the March 18 gubernatorial poll in the state.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election.
He polled 347,209 votes to defeat his closest opponent, David Emmanuel Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who secured 283,016 votes.
But the Appellate court on Thursday held that the tribunal headed by Ezekiel Ajayi acted in grave error by using witness statements on oath and not front loaded as required by law to arrive at the unjust conclusion of nullifying the election of the governor.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam, the court said that the tribunal was legally bound to act on witness statements filed along with the petition or front loaded within 21 days as stipulated by law.
The court insisted that no petition can lawfully be amended outside the 21 days allowed by law as wrongly done by the tribunal.
Onyemenam said that since the statements used by the tribunal to sack the governor were not front loaded in compliance with the law, that it was a product of illegality with no probate value for a law court to act upon.
The court also dismissed the over voting issues used to annul the election, saying that the allegations were not established by law.
Justice Onyemenam held that the petition by the candidate of the PDP was a nullity and invalid on the ground that the jurisdictional issues raised by the governor was unlawfully ignored by the tribunal.
The court submitted that the tribunal denied the governor fair hearing by not considering and making findings on the issues of jurisdiction raised at the hearing of the petition.
Onyemenam stated that the denial of fair hearing against the governor was fatal and therefore, rendered all decisions of the tribunal invalid.
The court also reversed all orders made against the governor and the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *