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Court of Appeal Reserves Judgment in Nasarawa Governorship Case

An Abuja Court of Appeal has on Wednesday reserved judgment in an appeal filed by Governor Abdullahi Sule challenging the tribunal verdict that nullified his election.

Chairman of the three members Panel, Justice Onyemenam Uchechukwu announced this after counsel adopted their written briefs in Abuja.

In the day’s proceedings, counsel to Governor Sule, Wole Olanipekun, who filed five processes to challenge the appeal, urged the court to dismiss the judgment of the tribunal and allow the appeal of his client.

Olanipekun argued that the tribunal refused to take the submissions of their witnesses during the tribunal hearing and that data from the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) tendered to the tribunal, were merely dumped without being considered as evidence.

The Appellant Court is also hearing the Cross Appeal filed by David Emmanuel Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Street Reporters Newspaper recalls that the Nasarawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had sacked Abdullahi Sule as the Nasarawa State Governor.

Two out of the three justices of the panel led by Justice Ezekiel Ajayi had declared David Umbugadu as the winner of the 2023 Nasarawa State governorship elections.

The third member of the Panel, Justice Ibrahim Mashi, however, read read a dissenting judgment.

Governor Abdullahi Sule on his part had appealled the majority judgement that affirmed Umbugadu as the winner of the State’s governorship election.

He filed the appeal at the Court of Appeal against the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal judgement that annulled his victory in the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election in Nasarawa State.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced Sule Audu Alhaji as winner of the election.

Dissatisfied, governorship candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), David Ombugadu, approached the Nasarawa State Election Petition Tribunal to seek redress over alleged malpractices.

Consequently, the tribunal in a split judgement declared the PDP candidate, David Ombugadu, as the lawfully elected governor of the state.

But Sule, too, rejected the split decision of the tribunal, insisting that the petition lacked merit and ought to have been dismissed.

Consequently, the governor listed 27 grounds before the Court of Appeal to fault the decision of the Justice Ezekiel Ajayi-led tribunal delivered virtually on October 2, 2023.

In a notice of appeal dated October 15, 2023, urging the Appellate Court to set aside the decision of the lower court and affirm his election victory as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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