Supreme Court re-affirms Bello as duly elected governor

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

Bello was declared the winner of the governorship election held in November 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, there was a disagreement to the announcement; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Musa Wada, and the Social Democratic Party and its candidate, Natasha Akpoti filed an appeal.

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.

It is to be noted that on May 23, in a judgement of two-to-one, the tribunal affirmed Mr Bello’s election but the dissenting judgment by Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele nullified the election of Mr Bello and ordered the electoral body to carry out another election in seven local government areas where the petitioners proved their allegations of over-voting, thuggery, voter intimidation, massive thumb printing and other electoral malpractices.

On July 4, Wada’s appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal and affirmed Bello as the governor of the state.

The appellate court also dismissed the appeals filed by SDP, the Actions Peoples Party (APP) and the Democratic People’s Party (DPP).

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

“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.

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