From Abel Abogonye, Lafia
The embattled governor of Nasarawa State Abdullahi Sule is being pressured by political allies, party stalwarts and well meaning Nigerians to conceed defeat as pronounced by the Election Petition Tribunal justices who nullified his victory of the 28th March governorship election
Our reporter who monitored daily TV program on TVC News, noted that Nigerians were unanimous in their reactions to the tribunal judgement and thereby appealed to the governor to display the spirit of sportsmanship following the outcome of the judgement.
According to those who spoke while reacting to the judgement, forging ahead collectively for the development of Nasarawa state was the best way forward adding that these can be realized only when governor Abdullahi Sule toe the part of honour by accepting defeat.
APC lawyer, Dr Mubarak Adekilekun had appeared on the TVC station for an interview where he was said to have spoken against the judgement.
An Adamawa state indegene who identified himself as Emmanuel Bako wondered how a lawyer of repute will come before a National Television to disown issues that were obvious and in line with the law upon which the tribunal judgement was based
He argued that over voting in Gayam and Ciroma wards of Lafia local government were clear issue of manipulation, maintaining that results presented by the APC manually could not have been more authentic than the results uploaded from the INEC Biometric capturing machines.
Other Nigerians however, argued that the issue with the Nasarawa governorship election can not be in any way liken to the situation in Kano state.
“We are Nigerians and we have been monitoring the electoral processes in Nasarawa state. We therefore hold strongly that governor Abdullahi Sule ought to have congratulated the PDP candidate, David Emmanuel Ombugadu for the overwhelming support received from the people of Nasarawa State during the March governorship election”.
“We are not judges but it is wrong for a political party to describe a tribunal pronouncement as a monumental error. APC should not be a judge in their own case rather they should seek further legal redress instead of using a fowl language to describe a judgement delivered by a competent court
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the State has congratulated its members over the verdict of the governorship election tribunal which affirmed their candidate, Hon.David Emmanuel Ombugadu as the rightful and lawful elected governor of Nasarawa State.
In a statement signed by its publicity secretary, Ibrahim Hamza, the party said the victory did not come as a surprise because justice was served at last and correctly too.
The statement further called on party members and supporters to remain calm and celebrate moderately as well remain resolute as the party’s legal team is working hard to ensure total victory at all levels of the judicial process.
The statement commended the tribunal for “the painstaken attention to details, and the decision that was arrived based on merit of the case and did not allowed itself to be hoodwinked by mere technicalities, which the Respondents obviously wanted so badly.”
The party further revealed that following the outcome of the meeting with security services, all political parties were advised to restrict their political activities and those of the supporters to respective party offices and residence of the candidate for now, in the interests of peace in the state at large.
The party therefore advised its members against the use of vulgar words that could ignite tension and inflame passion capable of threatening peaceful coexistence or cause harm to persons or properties anywhere in the state.
Explaining that the security services have already upped their game in vigilance in order to forestall any unpleasant outcome and that mischief makers will be on their own.
Subsequently, the statement added, that the State PDP Chairman Hön Francis Orogu has directed all LG chairmen of the party to ensure compliance with the directive in the interest of peace in the state.
Meanwhile statewide celebration has continued since Monday till now. Both Muslims, christians and traditionalists have joined in the celebration across villages and communities in the state and beyond over the victory of David Ombugadu.
Appeal Court Sacks Nasarawa speaker
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked the Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a judgement delivered on Tuesday, the court declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Hon. Sa’ad Abdullahi Ibrahim (Turakin-Opanda), as the rightful winner of the election for Umaisha/Ugya State Constituency.
Appeal Court affirms Hyacinth Alia’s victory as Benue Governor
The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, upheld the election of Hyacinth Alia as declared by INEC after the March 18th, 2023 election as governor of Benue State
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the March 18 governorship election, Titus Uba, had approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal that upheld Alia’s election.
At the tribunal, Uba accused Alia’s deputy, Samuel Ode, of presenting a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contrary to Section 182(1)(j) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)
He also alleged that Alia’s name was submitted less than 180 days before the election date, and Ode was also not submitted to INEC after the party conducted a further re-run primary election.
A three-member panel of the tribunal, headed by Justice Ibrahim Karaye, dismissed the petition on the ground that it was a pre-election matter and was statute-barred.
Ruling on the appeal on Monday, the appeal court’s three-member panel led by Justice Onyekachi Aja Otisi held that Uba failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the allegations of forgery against Ode
As long as God remains on the throne our mandate will be preserved, says Mutfwang
Plateau Governor, Caled Mutfwang spoken with confidence that as long as God remains on the throne, the people’s mandate will be preserved and protected as he reiterated his commitment to the rule of law, while assuring the people that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Mutfwang who was reacting to the Appeal Court judgement that sacked him on Sunday described the verdict as a temporary setback that will not deter him from repositioning the state.
“We have unwavering faith in the judiciary and the Constitution of Nigeria,” he added.
The Governor said he has instructed his legal team to file an appeal at the Supreme Court, admonishing citizens of the state and PDP supporters to remain calm.
Mutfwang gave the indication in a press statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere, expressed optimism that the mandate overwhelmingly given to him by the citizens would be restored.
Mutfwang polled 525,299 votes in the March 18 governorship election in the state, while Goshwe polled 481,370 votes.
Goshwe challenged the victory of Mutfwang at the tribunal, claiming that the Governor was not validly nominated and sponsored by his Party, insisting there was non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the election.
In a unanimous decision, a three-member panel of the tribunal headed by Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.
Displeased with the judgment, the APC candidate appealed the tribunal judgment.
The appellate court ruling on Sunday, led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, held that the PDP did not validly sponsor the Governor during the election.
She held that the Party violated a court order to conduct a valid Congress in that state’s 17 Local Government Areas.
She said there was no evidence that the PDP complied with a subsisting High Court order which had directed it to conduct a valid party congress before sponsoring the governorship and other candidates.
The court held that the issue of qualification is both a pre-election and a post-election matter contrary to the tribunal’s findings, which held that the appellant lacked the locus to contest the validity of the respondent.
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