Appeal Court has sacked the PDP candidate who was declared the winner of the Nasarawa Governorship Election by the Tribunal.
In a significant turn of events, the Court of Appeal in Abuja has overturned the decision of the Nasarawa State Election Petitions Tribunal, affirming the election of Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule.
The ruling, delivered on Thursday, highlighted several legal errors made by the tribunal, ultimately concluding that Governor Sule’s election was valid.
Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam, who led the court, emphasized that the tribunal erred by relying on witness statements not filed within the stipulated 21 days as required by the constitution.
The court held that the tribunal’s decision to use these statements to nullify Governor Sule’s election was a grave error, depriving him of a fair hearing. Additionally, the court dismissed over-voting allegations, stating that they were not substantiated by law.
One key aspect of the court’s decision was the ruling that the petition filed by Ombugadu was null and void. The tribunal failed to address jurisdictional issues raised by the governor, and this oversight rendered the entire petition invalid.
Justice Onyemenam concurred that the denial of a fair hearing against the governor was fatal, rendering all decisions of the tribunal invalid. Consequently, the appellate court reversed all orders made against Governor Sule and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
As a result of this landmark ruling, Governor Abdullahi Sule has been reaffirmed as the duly elected governor of Nasarawa State.
The decision comes after a thorough examination of legal procedures and constitutional provisions, highlighting the importance of upholding the rule of law in electoral disputes.
Governor Sule was initially declared the winner of the governorship election by INEC, securing 347,209 votes.
This surpasses his closest opponent, David Ombugadu, who garnered 283,016 votes. The Court of Appeal’s decision brings clarity to the political landscape in Nasarawa State and underscores the significance of adherence to legal timelines and due process in electoral matters.