The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed the appeal by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Musa Wada, challenging the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A five-member panel of justices presided by Justice Adamu Jauro on Saturday unanimously held that the appeal by Wada lacked merit as it failed to establish allegations of electoral irregularities.
The panel also dismissed three other appeals by the governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Akpoti, seeking to nullify Governor Bello’s election on grounds of electoral irregularities; and the appeals by Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and All Peoples Party (APP) all challenging their exclusion from the election.
Earlier, lawyers to Wada, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) and Solomon Umoh (SAN) had told the appellate court that Wada has fulfilled the requirement set in Section 179(2) of the Nigerian Constitution to be declared elected governor of Kogi State.
They cited the dissenting judgement of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal delivered on May 23, which held that the election was marred by multiple thumbprinting, and discrepancies between total votes cast and number of registered voters in Kabba, Ajaokuta, Lokoja, Okehi, and Olamaboro.
But lawyers to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, and Governor Bello, Alex Izinyon, Ahmed Raji and Joseph Daudu, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria, asked the court to dismiss the appeal for failing to prove allegations of over-voting and violence in the November 16, 2019 governorship election.
Meanwhile, Wada has vowed to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court.