Appeal Court Reverses Nasarawa State Governor’s Removal
Appellate Verdict Affirms Abdullahi Sule’s Election
Appeal Court in Abuja reversed the decision of the election petition tribunal, reinstating Abdullahi Sule as the Nasarawa State governor. In a unanimous ruling by a three-member panel, the appellate court affirmed Sule’s election, overturning the tribunal’s judgment that declared David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governorship election winner.
Election Outcome Challenge
Initially declared winner by Nigeria’s electoral commission, INEC, Sule faced a challenge from Ombugadu, who contested the election result at the tribunal, asserting he secured the majority of valid votes.
Appellate Court’s Decision
In response to Sule’s appeal against the tribunal’s verdict, the Court of Appeal held that Sule’s election as Nasarawa State governor was legitimate. The panel stated that Ombugadu failed to substantiate claims of over-voting against Sule and rebuked the tribunal’s conclusion that Sule did not secure the majority of valid votes.
Sule secured 347,209 votes, surpassing Ombugadu’s 283,016 votes. The tribunal, in a split decision, initially declared Ombugadu the validly elected governor, citing manipulated poll results in favor of Sule. However, dissenting from this decision, a tribunal member dismissed Ombugadu’s suit as lacking in merit.
Appellate Verdict’s Impact
The appellate court’s ruling overturned the tribunal’s decision, validating Sule’s election as Nasarawa State governor and reinstating him following a legal challenge to the election outcome.