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Appeal Court upholds election of Gov Abdullahi Sule in Nasarawa

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Appeal Court upholds election of Gov Abdullahi Sule in Nasarawa
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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Thursday upturned the judgement of the State Election Petitions Tribunal in Nasarawa State, which nullified the election of Governor Abdullahi Sule on October 2.

Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam, leading a three-member panel of the Appeal Court, delivering judgment, 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.

According to the Appeal Court, 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.

 

READ ALSO: INEC REC in Adamawa flees to Niger Republic after announcing illegal result

 

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

The Court declared that 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.

According to the court, since the statements used by the Tribunal to sack the Governor were not front-loaded in compliance with the law, 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 claims, stating that allegations were not established by law.

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

The Appeal Court, therefore, upturned all orders made against the governor and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and affirmed Sule as the lawfully elected governor of the state

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