BREAKING: Appeal Court Affirms Abdullahi Sule As Nasarawa Gov

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The Court of Appeal Abuja has eversed the sack of the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule by the State Election Petitions Tribunal in its judgment delivered on October 2.

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Delivering judgment, the three-member panel led by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam, held that the Tribunal was legally bound to act on witness statements filed along with the petition or front-loaded within 21 days stipulated by law.

The Appellate Court held that the Tribunal, led by Ezekiel Ajayi, acted in grave error in using witness statements on oath not front-loaded as required by law to arrive at the unjust conclusion of nullifying the election of the governor.

The Court held that no petition can lawfully be amended outside the 21 days allowed by law as wrongly done by the Tribunal.

According to the Court of Appeal, the Tribunal denied the governor a fair hearing by not considering and making findings on the issues of jurisdiction raised at the hearing of the petition.

Since the statements used by the Tribunal to sack the Governor were not front-loaded in compliance with the law, the court held that the statements were the 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, adding that allegations were not established by law.

Justice Onyemenam held that the petition by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), David Ombugadu, was a nullity and invalid on the ground that the jurisdictional issues raised by the governor was unlawfully ignored by the Tribunal.

Justice Onyemenam agreed that the denial of fair hearing against the governor was fatal and tendered all decisions of the Tribunal invalid.
The Court subsequently reversed all orders made against the governor and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and affirmed Sule as the lawfully elected governor of the state.

INEC had declared Sule the winner of the governorship election on the grounds that he polled a total of 347,209 votes to defeat his closest opponent David Emmanuel Ombugadu who secured 283,016 votes.

In a split decision on October 2, the tribunal nullified Sule’s election and upheld Ombugadu as the winner.

Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samsonhttp://ThisDayLive.com
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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