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Appeal Court affirms Sule’s election as Nasarawa governor



The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has set aside the ruling of the Nasarawa State Election Petition Tribunal that voided the election of Abdullahi Sule as the state governor in the March 18 governorship election.

The tribunal had voided the election of Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC)and declared David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the validly elected governor in its ruling on October 2, 2023.

But a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal Justices on Thursday overturned that ruling. The panel led by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam said the tribunal erred by failing to consider the issue of jurisdiction before arriving at its judgement.


Thursday’s lead judgement was delivered by Justice Onyemenam who held that the tribunal had the fundamental duty to hear issues of jurisdiction before going ahead to hear the substantive matter, saying failing to do so would naturally render the outcome of the matter null and void.


The court further said the tribunal’s failure to hear Sule’s issue on jurisdiction is in breach of his right to fair hearing.


The Appellate Court said David Ombugadu and the PDP didn’t have sufficient evidence to probe their claim of over voting in the election which was one of the major reasons that the tribunal considered before nullifying Sule’s election. The court also said the PDP and its candidate were unable to prove their claim of over voting with their inability to produce the original documents from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It therefore ruled that the tribunal erred by deducting a total of 1, 868 votes belonging to the APC and Sule in four polling units.


The court also said the PDP and its candidate could not prove their case in the controversial Chiroma and Gayam Wards saying they presented witnesses whose statements could best be described as hearsay.

The court therefore upheld the appeal by Sule against the nullification of his election by the tribunal.

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