In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court on Friday affirmed Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the duly elected Governor of Nasarawa State. The apex court dismissed the appeal challenging Sule’s victory in the March 18 governorship election.
The five-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, delivered the lead judgment, stating that the appeal lacked merit. The court subsequently dismissed the appeal lodged by Emmanuel David Ombugadu, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State.
Justice Kekere-Ekun ruled that the appellant failed to provide sufficient evidence of over-voting and noncompliance with electoral laws. The decision solidifies Abdullahi Sule’s position as the legitimate governor, upholding the outcome of the March 18 election.
It is noteworthy that the Nasarawa Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had initially nullified Governor Sule’s election, ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to the PDP candidate. The tribunal held that Governor Sule benefitted from over-voting in several polling units.
However, an appeal lodged by the governor and his party led to a reversal of the tribunal’s decision by the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on November 23. The appellate court held that the tribunal had erred in law, emphasizing that Governor Sule won the majority of lawful votes cast in the election. The Supreme Court’s affirmation now concludes the legal battle over the Nasarawa State governorship election.