Nigeria

Appeal Court affirms Yahaya Bello as Kogi governor

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Saturday dismissed four appeals brought against the re-election of Yahaya Bello and affirmed him the governor of Kogi State.

The appeals were filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Actions People’s Party (APP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Democratic People’s Party (DPP).

In four separate unanimous judgments delivered on Saturday, the five-member panel of the appellate court led by Justice Adamu Jauro, dismissed the four appeals for lacking in merit.

In its appeal, APP had claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) unlawfully excluded it from the governorship election in the state.

Delivering judgement on the APP’s appeal, Justice Mohammed Shuaibu dismissed the appeal.

He also affirmed the decision of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which dismissed the petition filed by the APP and awarded a cost of N100,000 against the party.

The appellate court also dismissed the appeal filed by DPP against the governor’s re-election.

On the appeal filed by SDP and its candidate, the Court of Appeal held that Ms Akpoti could not prove the allegations of corruption and voter intimidation against Mr Bello.

Following this, the appellate court dismissed the SDP’s appeal.

On the main challenger (Musa Wada)’s appeal, the appellate court held that the allegations, which includes multiple thumbprinting and results in falsification, were not proven by the appellants.

The Court of Appeal then ordered Mr Wada to pay a sum of N100,000 each to Mr Bello, the APC, and INEC, who were listed as respondents in the appeal.

In the election held in November 2019, Mr Bello polled 406,222 votes to defeat his closest opponent, the PDP’s candidate, Mr Wada, who scored 189,704 votes.

Ms Akpoti of SDP, came a distant third with a score of 9,482 votes.

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