2023 polls: Supreme Court to determine fate of 9 govs today

The Supreme Court will today determine the fate of nine governors whose victory in the governorship election held on March 18, 2023, are being challenged.

The states that the apex court has heard cases that were lodged by aggrieved candidates and reserved its judgement, are Delta, Rivers, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Taraba, Sokoto, Gombe, Kaduna and Ogun.

A top official at the Supreme Court who pleaded not to be mentioned, told Vanguard that judgement in some of the cases were brought forward to Friday after the court vacated the whole of next week to allow its overworked justices to rest.

While Justice Inyang Okoro will head the panel that will decide some of the appeals, the other panel will be led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun.

Even though all the cases were heard by a five-member panel, however, last Friday when the apex court delivered marathon judgements on governorship election appeals from eight states of the federation, eight Justices sat for the proceedings.

A panel of the court led by Justice Kekere-Ekun had on Thursday, announced that it would on Friday, deliver judgement on the appeal that is seeking to nullify the election of Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State.

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Mohammed Barde, are praying the apex court to set aside the concurrent verdict of the Court of Appeal and the Gombe State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which dismissed the case they filed to challenge the declaration of governor Yahaya of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the winner of the gubernatorial contest.

The panel okayed the matter for judgement, after all the parties adopted their briefs of argument.

The court, however, dismissed another appeal that was filed against governor Yahaya’s election by the candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Nafiu Bala.

The Appellant withdrew the matter after the apex court panel drew his attention to the fact that his case was premised on pre-election issues.

Similarly, the court reserved its judgement on Kaduna state governorship election dispute after the parties also adopted their arguments.

The PDP and its candidate, Mohammed Ashiru, are praying the court to sack Governor Uba Sani, who won his election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared that governor Sani garnered a total of 730, 001 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Ashiru, who polled 719, 196 votes.

However, dissatisfied with the result of the election, the PDP and its candidate approached the tribunal to challenge it.

The petitioners alleged that governor Uba was not duly elected by majority of valid votes cast in the election, adding that the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices and non compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

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