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Here are Six Governors who Passed Second Legal Hurdle.



Here are six governors who passed second legal hurdle.
Wema Bank Alat

Here are six governors who passed second legal hurdle.

Six governors yesterday scaled through the second legal battle challenging their election as the Court of Appeal, sitting in various judicial divisions, affirmed their electoral victories.


They are Governors Nasir Idris of Kebbi; Uba Sani of Kaduna; Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom; Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru of Ebonyi; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; and Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta. The appellate court dismissed the legal challenge to their election by their opponents while upholding the judgments of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunals.

The court affirms Nasir Idris as governor.
The governorship election dispute in Kebbi State was decided by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, which upheld the election of Governor Nasir Idris. The court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Justice Ndukwe Anyanwu, dismissed as lacking in merit an appeal that was brought before it by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Aminu Bande.

The court said it found no reason to set aside the judgment of the Kebbi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which affirmed Idris of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the valid winner of the gubernatorial poll that was held on March 18. It held that the appellants failed to establish all the allegations they raised in their petition. The court stressed that the allegation of forgery leveled against the Deputy Governor of the State, Abubakar Tafida, was not proved as required by the law.

It further held that the issues of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act in the conduct of the election could not stand since the appellants failed to show how it substantially affected the outcome of the poll.

It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared the Kebbi State governorship election inconclusive owing to massive vote cancellations and overvoting in 20 of the 21 LGAs in the state. The Commission subsequently conducted a supplementary election on April 15, at the end of which it declared that Governor Idris of the APC polled 409,225 votes to beat Bande of the PDP, who got 360,940 votes. Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, the PDP and its candidate approached the tribunal to challenge the result. However, the Justice Ofem Ofem-led tribunal dismissed the petition as lacking in merit.

KADUNA avoids the order for supplementary polls in 4 LGAs
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja also decided the Kaduna governorship case that went in favor of Governor Uba Sani. The court, in a unanimous decision, dismissed an appeal the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Mohammed Ashiru, filed to challenge the outcome of the governorship election that was held in the state on March 18. In its lead judgment that was delivered by Justice Obietonbara Daniel-Kalio, the court upheld the verdict of the Kaduna State Election Petition Tribunal, which validated Governor Sani’s election. It held that the tribunal was right in its majority decision when it declared the petition by the PDP and its candidate as abandoned.

According to the appellate court, records before it established that the petitioners acted in breach of Paragraph 18(1) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022 when they prematurely applied to the tribunal for the issuance of a pre-hearing notice.

Noting that the law provided that such an application must be filed seven days after the close of pleadings by the parties, the court waved aside the argument of the appellants that they acted “out of an abundance of caution.” It held that vigilance in prosecuting a matter could not be equated with jumping the gun, adding that one of the essential elements for the exercise of jurisdiction by a court “is that a case must be initiated by due process of the law.”

Besides, the court maintained that statements on oath that were made by most of the witnesses that testified for the appellants were invalid as they were not filed alongside the petition.

It held that the failure to frontload the statements of the witnesses within the 21-day period prescribed for filing the petition rendered them legally incompetent. The appellate court held that most of the witnesses who testified for the petitioners gave hearsay evidence.

The court said it was satisfied that the tribunal properly evaluated the evidence that was adduced before it by the parties and accorded probative value to it. It resolved all five issues that were raised in the appeal against the appellants. “The appeal lacks merit, and it is accordingly dismissed. Parties are to bear their respective costs,” the court held.

More so, the court, while deciding a Cross-Appeal that was filed by Governor Sani, voided an alternative order that was made by the tribunal, which directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a fresh poll in 22 polling units within four Local Government Areas in the state. The court held that the tribunal relied on documents with discrepancies, as well as hearsay evidence from discredited witnesses, to declare the governorship election inconclusive.

Other members of the panel of the appellate court that agreed with the lead judgement, were Justices James Abundaga and Mohammed Idris.

Appeal Court upholds Umo Eno’s election as Akwa Ibom Governor.
Deciding the Akwa Ibom state governorship contest, the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos yesterday dismissed three separate appeals filed against Governor Umo Eno of the People’s Democratic Party.

In affirming the September 28 judgment of the election petition tribunal, the three-member panel of Justices headed by Festus Obande dismissed the appeals brought by the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Bassey Albert Akpan; the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, John Udoedehe; and Akanimo Udofia of the All Progressives Congress.

The Appellate Court declared in the unanimous judgments that all three appeals were lacking in merit.

All the appellants had alleged in their cases that Governor Eno was not qualified to contest the election on the ground that he forged his 1981 WAEC and 1983 GCE certificates presented to INEC. The Appeal Court, however, held that the lower court was

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