Supreme Court affirms Abdullahi Sule as winner of Nasarawa guber election

Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule

The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Governor Sule Abdullahi of Nasarawa State with the dismissal of the petition instituted against his election by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its governorship candidate, Emmanuel David Ombugadu.

The panel of justices in a unanimous decision dismissed it for lack of merit and no cost was awarded.

On October 2, the Election Petition Tribunal in Lafia nullified Governor Sule’s victory and declared David Ombugadu as the winner of the poll.

Consequently, Governors Sule and the All Progressives Congress (APC) sought to overturn the verdict by appealing the judgment of the tribunal

The court of appeal in its judgment on November 23, faulted the verdict of the tribunal and affirmed Sule’s election as governor.

The appeal court upheld that the tribunal relied on legally inadmissible evidence to declare Ombugadu as the winner of the March 18 poll.

According to the appellate court, the tribunal wrongly relied on the evidence of eight of the PDP witnesses whose statements on oath were not front-loaded alongside the petition.

The appellate court further held that Section 285(5) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended; Section 132(7) of the Electoral Act 2022 and Paragraphs 4(5) (6) and 14(2) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act; stipulates that every written statement on oath must be filed alongside the petition, within the statutorily allocated time.

Dissatisfied with the judgment of the appeal court, the PDP Candidate approached the apex court, seeking to upturn the verdict of the appeal court.

PDP Supporters Protest

Following the judgment, PDP supporters blocked the Lafia-Jos road, burning tires in front of the state secretariat of the party.

Protest has erupted in Lafia the Nasarawa State capital following the Supreme Court Appeal Judgment affirming the election of Governor Abdullahi Sule.

While security operatives are on the ground to restore order and forestall an escalation, shops, and business centres including schools within the Lafia metropolis have abruptly closed.