Kogi: S’court Dismisses Akpoti, Wada’s Appeal, Upholds Yahaya Bello’s Election As Governor

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The Supreme Court on Monday quashed two appeals brought against the re-election of Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and affirmed him the governor of Kogi State.

The appeals were filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Musa Wada, and the Social Democratic Party and its candidate, Natasha Akpoti.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mr Bello as the winner of the governorship election held in November 2019.

But in a unanimous judgement on Monday, a seven-member panel of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed, held that both appeals lack merit and subsequently dismissed them.

Delivering its judgment, which was prepared by Justice Inyang Okoro and read by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji on Monday, the court affirmed the earlier judgements of the two lower courts delivered on May 23 and July 4 respectively, which had both upheld Mr Bello’s victory at the poll.

Subsequently, the apex court declared the appellants’ appeal as lacking in merit.

“Having resolved all the five issues against the appellants, it is abundantly clear that the appeal is devoid of any scintilla of merit and it is accordingly dismissed,” the court ruled.

On Ms Akpoti’s appeal, the apex court held that, “there was no reason to interfere with the judgments of the Court of Appeal and tribunal.”

The apex court also held that the appellants did not provide particulars of forgery to support the claim of forgery against the deputy governor, Edward Onoja.

The apex court further held that there was no evidence of rigging nor evidence that the respondents connived among themselves to rig the election.

On the issue of exclusion, Justice Abba-Aji noted that the appellants blew hot and cold at the same time when they in one breath said that the logo of the SDP was not on the result sheet while in another said it was written in longhand.

It, subsequently, dismissed the SDP and Ms Akpoti’s appeal.

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