The Supreme Court of Nigeria has affirmed the victory of Nasir Idris in the March 18, 2023, governorship election in Kebbi State, dismissing the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Aminu Bande. The ruling, delivered on Friday, declared the appeal to have no merit.
Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, delivering the lead judgment, stated that after careful consideration, the court found the appeal lacked merit and subsequently dismissed it. The decision solidifies Nasir Idris’ status as the duly elected governor of Kebbi State.
The governorship election initially faced challenges as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared it inconclusive in March 2023 due to “massive vote cancellation and over-voting” in 20 out of the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state. A supplementary election was subsequently scheduled for April 15, 2023.
In the supplementary election, Nasir Idris, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, secured 409,225 votes, defeating Aminu Bande of the PDP, who received 360,940 votes. Bande and the PDP contested the outcome, lodging a petition with the Tribunal.
The petition raised concerns about excessive voting in certain polling stations and questioned Idris’ eligibility. They also alleged that the deputy governor had submitted a counterfeit secondary school testimonial to INEC.
However, the Tribunal, chaired by Ofem Ofem, ruled that the petitioners failed to conclusively prove the claim of a fake certificate submitted to INEC. The Tribunal acknowledged irregularities in nine out of the 59 polling units under scrutiny, leading to deductions of votes from both APC and PDP.
Despite the deductions, the Tribunal clarified that the margin between the election winner and the runner-up remained unaffected. The chairman highlighted insufficient substantial evidence to support claims of excessive voting and irregularities in other polling units, ultimately confirming Nasir Idris as the duly elected governor of Kebbi State.