Transparency and Integrity


Supreme Court Upholds Victory Of Kano, Bauchi, Zamfara, Plateau, Ebonyi Governors


Governors Of Abia, Cross River Win At Supreme Court.

Governors of Kano, Bauchi, Plateau, Zamfara and Ebonyi on Friday arrived at the Supreme Court complex for judgment to be delivered in their respective legal battles.

The Victory of governor Bala Mohammed as duly elected governor of was upheld and Judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa.

In the case of Abba Yusuf of Kano the apex court gave its much-anticipated judgment. Mr Yusuf and his party, NNPP, had filed an appeal against the appellate court’s judgement, which affirmed his sacking earlier pronounced by the Kano governorship election petitions tribunal.

Recall that Tribunal earlier sacked Mr Yusuf and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw his certificate of return and declare Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, the All Progressives Congress candidate, as the winner Mr. Yusuf appealed the judgment but the appellate court, while affirming his sack, held that the governor was not a member of NNPP as of the time of the election and could not have been said to have been properly sponsored for the election.

In the case of Governor Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party, the Supreme court upheld his election as the winner of the Zamfara 2023 governorship poll. A  judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the five-member panel of justices set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal that declared the election inconclusive.

The Supreme Court also upheld Francis Nwifuru as the governor of Ebonyi State. Justice Tijjani Abubakar, who delivered the judgment on Friday, dismissed the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Chukwuma Odii and further described the appeal as lacking in merit.

The election of Caleb Mutfwang as the duly elected governor of Plateau was also upheld by the Supreme Court. The appeal filed by Mr Mutfwang, seeking to restore his mandate to lead the state, was allowed, and the Court of Appeal judgment was set aside.

Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered the judgment, held that the appeal by the governor had merit.

The Appeal Court had, in a unanimous decision in November, ruled that Mr Muftwang was not sponsored by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The court held that Nentawe Yilwada of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the 18 March 2023 governorship election and therefore upheld his appeal.

According to the result declared by INEC, Mr Mutfwang scored 525,299 votes to beat Mr Yilwada, who polled 481,370 votes.

The Plateau governorship election petition tribunal had earlier affirmed Mr Muftwang’s victory, prompting Mr Yilwada to appeal at the Appeal Court.

The Supreme Court’s decision on the case is final.

In the same vein the Supreme Court  upheld the election of Alex Otti as the duly elected governor of Abia. Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, while delivering the judgment, dismissed the appeal against Mr Otti’s victory.

She held that the appeal by the PDP lacked merit. The appeals were lodged against Mr Otti, who won his election on the platform of the Labour Party (LP) by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Okey Ahiwe, and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ikechi Emenike.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that Mr Otti polled 175,466 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Ahiwe of the PDP, who scored 88,529 in the gubernatorial poll on March 18, 2023.

Dissatisfied with the election outcome, Messrs Ahiwe and Emenike of the APC, who came in third, separately challenged it. However, in a judgement delivered on October 6, 2023, the Abia State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed the petitions and upheld Mr Otti’s election victory.

The tribunal’s verdict was affirmed by the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal, which also dismissed appeals that were entered against Mr Otti by both the PDP and APC candidates.

The victory of Bassey Otu as the governor of Cross River in the 2023 gubernatorial election was also on Friday upheld by the Supreme Court.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Sandy Onor, challenged Mr Otu’s All Progressives Congress (APC) membership.

The Calabar Division of the Court of Appeal had dismissed the appeal filed against Mr Otu by the PDP governorship candidate, Mr Onor.

Mr Onor had approached both the tribunal and appellate court, insisting that Mr Otu must be disqualified from the race for allegedly holding dual citizenship, certificate forgery, and not being a member of the APC at the time of the election.

However, the lower courts dismissed the PDP petitions, agreeing with the governor’s submission that the PDP cannot challenge the governor on the grounds of party sponsorship and nomination because they were not aspirants during the APC governorship primaries.

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