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Nasarawa Guber: Supreme Court Reserves Judgment in Appeal Challenging Sule’s Election

Persecondnews reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mr. Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the March 18 governorship election after he polled 347,209 votes to defeat his closest opponent, the PDP’s Ombugadu, who got 283,016 votes.

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The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the appeal filed by Dr. David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the victory of Mr. Abdullahi Sule in the March 18, 2023, governorship election in Nasarawa State.

On Tuesday, the court presided over by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, reserved the judgments for a date to be communicated to the parties after counsels to the appellants and respondents adopted their briefs of argument.

Persecondnews reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mr. Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the March 18 governorship election after he polled 347,209 votes to defeat his closest opponent, the PDP’s Ombugadu, who got 283,016 votes.

Dissatisfied with the election outcome, Dr. Ombugadu approached the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, challenging INEC’s declaration of Mr. Sule as the winner of the poll.

According to him, his votes were unjustifiably reduced, while Mr. Sule’s votes were increased to aid his victory, particularly in Form EC8Bs of Gayam and Chiroma Wards of Lafia Local Government Area.

However, after over six months of legal tussle, Dr. Ombugadu got judgment in his favour on October 2, 2023, as the election petition tribunal nullified Governor Sule’s election and declared him the winner of the March 18, 2023, governorship election in the state.

Delivering the judgment virtually, the tribunal led by Justice Ezekiel Ajayi declared Dr. Ombugadu the winner and lawfully elected governor of Nasarawa State.

Displeased with the tribunal ruling, Governor Sule appealed the verdict at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

The governor, through his counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), asked the appellate court to upturn the judgment of the tribunal and allow his appeal.

Ruling on the appeal on November 23, the appellate court reversed the sack of Gov. Sule by the State Election Petitions Tribunal.

The three-member panel, led by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam, held that the tribunal acted in grave error in using witness statements on oath, not front-loaded as required by law, to arrive at the unjust conclusion of nullifying the election of the governor.

Reacting, Dr. Ombagudu rejected the Appeal Court judgment and headed to the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict.

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