Govs of Lagos, Kano, Zamfara, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Plateau, Abia validly elected – Supreme Court

By Nudoiba Ojen

The Supreme Court on Friday declared Governors Jide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Abba Yusuf (Kano), Dauda Lawal (Zamfara), Francis Nwifuru (Ebonyi), Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau) and Alex Otti (Abia) as validly elected in last year’s governorship elections conducted in their states.

Delivering the judgment in the Lagos case, Justice Garba Lawal, who read the lead judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party and declared Sanwo-Olu of All Progressives Congress the validly elected governor.

In the Bauchi contest, the Supreme Court in the verdict read by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa declared Governor Mohammed as winner having pronounced the attempt of APC candidate, Sadique Abubakar, not successful, saying the appeal was devoid of merit.

Also in the Kano State matter, the Supreme Court upheld the victory of Governor Yusuf of the NNPP having reversed the Appeal Court order recognizing APC candidate, Nasiru Gawuna as governor.

In the lead judgment read by Justice Inyang Okoro, the apex court held that the lower courts wrongly deducted valid votes that were credited to Yusuf by INEC.

And in Zamfara State tussle, the Supreme Court upheld the victory of Governor Lawal having vacated the November 16, 2023 judgment of the Appeal Court which declared the governorship election in the state inconclusive.

Justice Emmanuel Agim, in the lead judgment, described the appeal Court verdict as “perverse” and restored the decision of the election petition tribunal which affirmed Lawal’s election.

In the Ebonyi matter, the Supreme Court, in the lead judgment read by Justice Tijjani Abubakar, dismissed the two appeals set to sack Governor Francis Nwifuru, adding that it found no reason to set aside the concurrent verdicts of the election petition tribunal and appeal Court, hence pronouncement that Nwifuru was validly elected.

The Supreme Court also upheld the electoral victory of Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutwang of the PDP, saying his appeal was meritorious.

In the lead judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court upturned the verdict of the Appeal Court and held that Mutfwang was qualified to contest the election because the primary election that produced him was well conducted by PDP NEC and that there was no evidence that PDP disobeyed Court order ordering fresh election.

The apex court has also affirmed the victory of Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, of the Labour Party in last year’s governorship election in the state.

In its lead judgment read by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, the Supreme Court held that the appeals of PDP candidate, Chief Okey Ahiwe, and his APC counterpart, Chief Ikechi Emerike, lacked merit, holding that Otti was a bona fide member of LP during the time of the election.



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