JUST IN!!! Supreme Court sets the day for Yahaya Bello’s final judgment

JUST IN!!! Supreme Court sets the day for Yahaya Bello's final judgmentJUST IN!!! Supreme Court sets the day for Yahaya Bello’s final judgment

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled on Aug. 31 to give judgment in the appeal lodged against the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Musa Wada and his supporters.
Wada and the PDP challenge Bello’s reelection of the All Progressive Congress ( APC) in the November 16 , 2019 election.

The supreme court’s seven member panel of judges headed by Nigeria’s Chief Justice (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, on Tuesday set the date after parties adopted their various written briefs in the appeal.

In a joint judgment, the Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal upheld the re-election of Yahaya Bello on the grounds that Wada and his party had failed to prove in their complaint the claims of electoral malpractice.

Unhappy with the lower court ‘s two rulings, Wada appealed to the supreme court for the setting aside of the tribunal’s conflicting judgments and that of the appeal court.

He wants the apex court to set aside the appeals court ‘s judgments on the grounds that the Court of Appeal rejected proof of corruption and abuse in the state’s seven local government areas.The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) declared Bello, the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, the winner of the governorship race, having won cast majority of votes and the threshold of spread in the election.

Nevertheless, four candidates and their parties, including Wada and the PDP, disagreed with INEC, and subsequently addressed the Bello victory request by the Kogi State Election Petitions Tribunal.

The other petitioners are the People’s Party of Action (APP); the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the People’s Democratic Party (DPP).

Nonetheless, the tribunal had rejected all of their applications for lack of substance.

Likewise, the Court of Appeal accepted that the appellants’ claims lacked substance, and also dismissed those against those appellants with costs.

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal held that the appellants had not proved the allegations of over-voting, multiple thumbprinting, and falsification of the results.

In Justice Haruna Tsamani ‘s split ruling, the Court of Appeal held that the appellants merely dumped documents on the tribunal without calling on relevant witnesses to link the documents to the allegation of over-voting.

A group that argues over-voting must, according to him, tender the voter lists for the affected polling units and the results of the polling units, prove how, without over-voting, the results would be in his favour.

Although Justice Kashim Kaigama’s majority judgment favored Bello, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele ‘s minority judgment held that proof of electoral malpractice existed in the state’s seven LGAs.

Subsequently Ovbiagele upturned Bello ‘s victory and ordered a rerun in the state’s seven affected local government areas.

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