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
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.
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.
Appeal Court declares LP Thaddeus Attah as duly elected reps member for Eti-Osa
The Appeal Court, Lagos Division, on Thursday, reaffirmed Thaddeus Attah of the Labour Party (LP) as the duly elected House of Representatives member representing Eti Osa Federal Constituency in Lagos State.
The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal which sat at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, had earlier invalidated Atta’s victory.
INEC had declared Attah of the LP winner of the February 25 election, having scored 24,075 votes, while Bankole Wellington of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 18,668; Ibrahim Obanikoro of the APC scored 16,901 votes, respectively.
However, the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, had, in a unanimous judgment, declared the elections inconclusive and ordered INEC to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in 33 polling units where elections did not hold.
The PDP candidate Wellington who was declared second in the polls, and the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) Obanikoro, had both filed petitions to challenge the elections of February 25, 2023.
The three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, on Thursday in Lagos set aside the previous decision by the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal.
The panel, in its unanimous decision, agreed with Ozekhome and held that the lower tribunal erred when it relied on the evidence of witnesses who were not party agents where elections were held or where elections were cancelled, but only came to tender Form EC 8 which they did not author before the court.
The appellate court further held that for the tribunal to conclude that the margin of votes where elections were not held or were cancelled can sway the votes cast, the list of registered voters must be presented before it. This was not done.
In addition, the court held that the “Voters’ register was never placed before the lower tribunal”, adding that the tribunal merely relied on Form EC 8 brought by witnesses who were not even the makers.
The court also held that the elections were conclusive and faulted the tribunal’s directive to the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in specific polling units.
On the whole, the Appeal Court wholly set aside the judgment of the lower tribunal.
In his petition, the PDP candidate had argued that the respondent was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election and that the election was invalid because of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
The popular music artist and actor had also contended that the Labour Party candidate was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.
Reacting to the judgment, Ibrahim Obanikoro in his X handle formerly Twitter, said “I would like to congratulate Representative Jude Thaddeus Attah on his victory at the appeal court today.
“Let’s throw our support for him so that he will give us a good representation for the next four years in Eti-Osa.”
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